“Everyone wanted to get to know the country and absorb what is happening here”

Israel hosted the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 1979, a year after Yizhar Cohen won the contest in Paris in 1978, with the song “Avnivi” written by Ehud Menor and composed by Nurit Hirsch. The prestigious production was hosted at the Nation Buildings in Jerusalem, and was hosted by the late TV personality Daniel Parr and the singer Jordana Erzi.

The event ended with a double celebration for Israel, who was 31 years old at the time, after she won the competition again – this time with the song “Hallelujah” performed by Gali Atari and the Halab and Honey band. Despite the victory, the next Eurovision was not hosted in Israel, but in the Netherlands, since the date chosen for its existence clashed with the Memorial Day for the fallen of the IDF.

“The Eurovision in Jerusalem was, in fact, an event of a whole week”, remembers Yizhar Cohen. “Throughout the week, I went from event to event and met almost all the media teams that came to Israel. Until then, not many knew the real Israel, and this opened the world to us. Everyone wanted to get to know the young country and absorb a little of what is happening here.

Yizhar Cohen, who brought the historic win with “Avnivi”, Photo: Danny Gottfried Dan Hadani Collection, National Library

“So for a week I ran around and did a lot of publicity work. The highlight was, of course, when I went on stage and presented the award to Gali Atari and the Halab and Honey band. I wish we could return to days like this, when it would be possible to do big and international events in Jerusalem again. I’m optimistic, we’ll beat them all.”

Video Credit: Akira Netzer Hazani – home game film – credit Avi Abelo, courtesy of the Gush Katif Center Archive, Shmuel Buchris, from the “Ramon Ramon” YouTube page, Gideon Markowitz, Dodi Vakanin, Hertzi Shapira, Lior Mizrahi, Liron Almog, Sharon Machat, screenshot From “The First in Entertainment”, AP, Moshe Milner Leam, Zvika Israeli Leam, Israel Sun, Lior Mizrahi

were we wrong We will fix it! If you found an error in the article, we would appreciate it if you shared it with us

ظهرت في الأصل على www.israelhayom.co.il

Leave a Comment