Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday with an homage to Israel’s winning Eurovision song “Toy,” performed by Netta Barzilai.
Instead of “boker tov” — “good morning”– Netanyahu opened his on-the-record remarks to cabinet ministers with “boker toy.”
Israel’s victory, its first since 1998, means it wins the right to host next year’s finals, which has transformed in those intervening decades into a massive extravaganza with two rounds, tens of thousands of fans, and millions more tuning in around the world.
“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.”
Outside of the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu was caught on camera doing Barzilai’s signature chicken dance.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 13, 2018
Netanyahu was just one of a bevy of leaders and politicians offering their congratulations to Israel’s newest darling.
“Proud of you, dear Netta. Waiting for everyone next year in Jerusalem!” tweeted President Reuven Rivlin.
The right celebrated her win as well timed for Sunday’s Jerusalem Day celebrations. In a tweet in honor of the day, which marks Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem and the Old City in the 1967 Six Day War, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said: “Happy Jerusalem Day to Israel! It began with Netta Barzilai’s victory, which assured that Eurovision is coming to the capital next year, and continues tomorrow with the move of the American embassy to Jerusalem.”
Labor lawmaker MK Merav Michaeli saw in Barzilai’s victory a win for feminism.
“This morning I want to thank you, the amazing Netta Barzilai,” Michaeli wrote in a statement.
“Not only thanks for a wonderful song and amazing performance and incredible victory, and for bringing the Eurovision to Jerusalem next year — but for who you are.”
Michaeli continued: “I want to tell you that after 30 years of working for feminism, I can point to you and say, ‘There, that’s how you do it.'”
Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein enthused over the national pride Barzilai was bringing home from Portugal.
“Not only the embassy is coming to Jerusalem, but the Eurovision too!” he said on Saturday night. “I want to warmly praise Netta Barzilai for her win this evening at the Eurovision. The victory set our hearts overflowing, and brought national pride to us all. Congratulations!”
In a 2 a.m. post to Twitter, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon went all out with a video that showed him viewing the clip for the first time.
“Netta Barzilai and a new embassy — next year in Jerusalem!” he wrote in the post, assuring Barzilai, “I bet on you from the start.”
גם נטע ברזילי, גם שגרירות חדשה. בשנה הבאה בירושלים! ????????????????????????
הימרתי עלייך מההתחלה. pic.twitter.com/EKWGDQa5tl
— משה כחלון (@KahlonMoshe) May 12, 2018
In the video he also quips, “What a great song! Yuval,” he turns to an aide, “get us a looper — it’s a winner!”
It wasn’t only politicians who were excited by Barzilai’s win, of course.
In one video, IDF soldiers rocked to her women’s empowerment anthem.
חיילי צה״ל עושים נטע ברזילי pic.twitter.com/79iTjWrftv
— יבגני זרובינסקי (@ivgiz) May 12, 2018