Immediately after her victory, thousands of Israelis swarmed the streets to celebrate, even though it was well after 1 a.m. by the time all the votes were counted and Netta emerged triumphant. Just as swift to commemorate the occasion were the Social Justice Warriors, who took to Twitter to denounce Netta as—you guessed it!—a racist, because she was wearing a silk robe and had those Japanese good luck cats on the stage behind her, which, these days, is an unforgivable crime of cultural appropriation.
It was one of those moments that made our habitually clouded conversation about politics clear. The people reveling in Rabin Square were celebrating a friendly competition between nations, one that acknowledged difference and understood that culture was porous enough to contain multitudes—some old, some new, and some borrowed. Those sulking in front of their smartphones and typing invective, on the other hand, believed in radically different values, dividing the world into strict castes and insisting that any attempt for these groups to interact constituted an assault, because power, not passion or compassion or humility, was the engine that drove all human interaction. If you believe, like the regressive left, in the barbed boundaries of Intersectionality, it should hardly matter to you that Netta was bullied as a child for falling short of the conventional concept of beauty, or that she won for a song that celebrated our ability to overcome our detractors and see ourselves as we all should, as beautiful creatures. All that matters in the barren land of dumb outrage is the surface, where no real art could ever bloom.
If you’re looking for something to be hopeful about, take heart: It was the popular vote, not the adjudication of the professional judges, that gave Netta her much deserved victory. Which is to say that most people can still tell pop perfection when they see it, and are sufficiently unmoved by lunatic ideologies to simply follow their hearts and their feet. Europe’s elites, then, the media monarchs who cast the competition’s first round of votes, gave Netta barely enough love for third place; Europe’s unwashed and huddled masses, on the other hand, had no qualms and no problems. Anyone trying to make sense of the future prospects of BDS should take note.
And now, to celebrate this momentous achievement, here she is, all the way back, a high school kid performing a flamenco version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”: