09:34 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Screen grab of KAN's Eurovision promotional video.

    Eurovision Promo Featuring 'Greedy' Jews, 'War & Occupation' Sparks Fury Online

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    The semi-finals and finals of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is set to kick off in Tel Aviv on 14 May and will last until 18 May, when this year's winner will be selected.

    A promotional video created by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (KAN) for its official Eurovision page has evoked amusement and belly laughs among some while sparking outrage from others after promising to give tourists in the country a "quick indoctrination" on what life there is really like.

    The edgy song and dance routine in the video, featuring two tour guides meeting a pair of tourists from Europe at the airport, touches base on a plethora of stereotypes about Israel and its population, quipping that Israel is "much more than" a "land of war and occupation," mentioning the stereotype about "greedy" Jews, and commenting on the notion of life in the country being "bleak."

    The self-deprecating video, set to a positive upbeat tune, refers to Israel as a "land of milk and honey," adding that everything's too expensive, and that people consider one another "frenemies" who enjoy expresso coffee and a good shawarma.

    Soon after appearing on KAN's official twitter page, the broadcaster was inundated with a flood of angry commentators from both sides of the ideological spectrum, with KAN seemingly predicting the coming storm by explaining that "the musical was satire and was meant to deal with stereotypes about Jews and Israel. YES, also by using self-deprecating humour like we love." 

    The video and explanation didn't go over well among some, with Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister's son, calling it a "disgrace," and complaining that for a billion shekels, "all they managed to produce was an anti-Semitic video."

    The Jewish Policy Centre, a pro-government think-tank, voiced its "disgust" with the stereotypes, saying the video had only 'given credence' to Israel's enemies.

    Others expressed similar feelings.

    People on the other side had their say as well, calling the video "antisemitism and misogyny set to music" or accusing the creators of trying to brush Israeli policy toward Palestinians under the carpet.

    The video did find its defenders, however, with one user calling it "genius from beginning to end. Down to the small details" such as the male performer's "I [Heart] Iron Dome" t-shirt.

    A few users complained about the translations, which they said were wrong, or the quality of the clip's technical aspects.

    Further down in the comments, the debate soon degenerated into a massive argument filled with conspiracy theories and slurs.

    Eurovision, the popular European song contest, is traditionally held in the country that won the previous year's competition. Israel singer Netta Barzilai was last year's winner, giving her country the right to host the competition. This is the third time Israel will be hosting the event after Jerusalem hosted it in 1979 and 1999.

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    video clip, broadcaster, social media reactions, reaction, Eurovision, Israel
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