Selection of transsexual singer irks Israeli Orthodox politicians

JERUSALEM, Nov. 24 (JTA) – Israeli Orthodox politicians cried foul this week when a Israeli pop singer who was once a man was chosen to represent Israel at this year’s Eurovision song contest. Politicians said choosing the singer known as Dana International to represent Israel would be a mark against the Jewish people. “The Eurovision song contest interests me about as much as the weather in Antarctica,” Knesset member Shlomo Benizri, of the Shas Party, told Israel Radio. “But as a son of the Jewish people, it offends me. The Jews are supposed to be a light unto the nations, but this is a message of darkness.” International’s song, “Diva,” was chosen from among 33 entries. The chairman of the selection committee, Gil Samsonov, said the song was superior to all the other entries. He added that the singer’s transsexuality would, perhaps, help Israel’s chances. “We should be seen as a liberal, free country that chooses songs on their merits,” he said.

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