Bibi-vision

Netanyahu jokes with Noa Kirel: ‘You don’t want to see me dance’

PM quotes Eurovision contestant’s song ‘Unicorn’ during meeting after she finished third in contest, tells her she should have won

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

Noa Kirel (center) Israel's 2023 Eurovision contestant stands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and his wife Sara Netanyahu, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, May 18, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Noa Kirel (center) Israel's 2023 Eurovision contestant stands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and his wife Sara Netanyahu, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, May 18, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu riffed on the lyrics from Israel’s 2023 Eurovision entry to joke about his poor dancing skills, during a meeting with contestant Noa Kirel on Thursday.

“You do not want to see me dance,” Netanyahu joked, in a play on the lyrics of the song “Unicorn,” in which Kirel asks the audience, “Do you want to see me dance?” before performing a routine at the song’s climax.

Sweden won the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool early Sunday morning, with Kirel finishing in third place.

Kirel, her brother Niv, her parents Ilana and Amir, and her manager Roberto Ben Shushan met Netanyahu and his wife Sara to celebrate at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

Kirel told the couple that she worked to ensure that Israel’s delegation stuck together during the experience.

“Even after very long days of rehearsal, it was important to me to raise morale and to smile, and I believe that it showed. The Israeli delegation was definitely the most visible delegation in Eurovision,” she told the Netanyahus.

Kirel said that she encountered a lot of love for Israel while at the competition.

“I felt a lot of respect. A second before I marched with the flag I said to myself: I, little Noa Kirel from Raanana, am marching with the Israeli flag in front of 200 million people. This gave me a lot of energy and a feeling of being an emissary [for Israel],” she said.

“I think you should’ve won,” Netanyahu told Kirel.

Israel has won the Eurovision Song Contest four times since it began taking part in 1973: first in 1978 with “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” by Yizhar Cohen; then a year later with “Hallelujah” by Gali Atari and Milk and Honey; again in 1998 with “Diva” by Dana International and most recently in 2018 with Netta Barzilai’s “Toy.”

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