Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, celebrating Israel’s victory at the Eurovision Song Competition, treated journalists to a quick chicken dance as he made his way to a cabinet meeting Sunday.
On Saturday night, Netta Barzilai clucked and bucked her way through “Toy,” a catchy ditty that had been the bookmakers’ favorite to win for weeks before the international contest in Portugal.
Affectionately known as the chicken song, for the vocal sounds the singer makes and her signature dance moves, the song addresses women’s empowerment following the #MeToo movement.
Outside of the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu was caught on camera briefly flapping his arms and smiling, in a comic celebration of Israel’s victory.
בוקר טוי ישראל!
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— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 13, 2018
He then tweeted the video of his chicken impersonation to his followers.
Netanyahu opened the cabinet meeting with another tribute to Barzilai. Instead of “boker tov” — “good morning”– Netanyahu opened his on-the-record remarks to ministers with “boker toy.”
“These days, Jerusalem is blessed with many gifts,” the prime minister said Sunday. “We received another one yesterday evening, with Netta’s suspenseful and shining victory. The gift was that Eurovision will be coming to Jerusalem next year, and we are proud to be hosting it.”
Israel’s victory, its first since 1998, means it wins the right to host next year’s finals, which, in the intervening decades, have transformed into a massive extravaganza with two rounds, tens of thousands of fans, and millions more tuning in around the world.
Barzilai’s win came on Jerusalem Day, when the country celebrates the anniversary of the reunification of its capital following 1967’s Six Day War. It was also the day before the United States is to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerualem.
לשנה הבאה בירושלים ???????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/ehU5101mfe
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 12, 2018
Barzilai ended her acceptance speech in Lisbon with the well-known phrase, “Next year in Jerusalem.”
Later, addressing the Foreign Ministry reception celebrating the US Embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem, Netanyahu commented on the fact that the Eurovision hosts mentioned every country’s capital except for Israel’s.
“Those who didn’t want Jerusalem in the Eurovision now get Eurovision in Jerusalem,” he said.
While the Eurovision final was taking place, Netanyahu had tweeted, “Netta, kapara alayich,” which was Barzilai’s blessing to her fans at the end of each performance. In colloquial Hebrew, it is a pet name meaning “darling” or “sweetie,” but the Bing translation tool within Twitter misunderstood the word “kapara” to be “para” — and translated the phrase as “Netta, you’re a cow”
אנשים חושבים משהו אחר בגלל התרגום… ביבי…. pic.twitter.com/KiHvW265Bz
— Meidan (@xTraPlayeRx) May 12, 2018
Barzilai will perform a victory concert in Tel Aviv’s iconic Rabin Square on Monday night for her thousands of fans, alongside previous Israeli representatives to the international singing competition.