Jewish-Arab Israeli pair reaches Eurovision finals

JERUSALEM  (JTA) — A Jewish-Arab Israeli duo won a place in the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Singers Achinoam Nini and Mira Awad competed against 17 other groups in a semifinal round Tuesday night in Moscow. Ten advanced to the finals. A second semifinal round will take place Thursday.

The Israeli women performed the song "There Must Be Another Way" in English, Hebrew and Arabic.

Nini, known internationally as Noa, and Awad, the first Arab to represent Israel at Eurovision, were chosen the day after Israel launched its military offensive in Gaza. Nini is a longtime peace activist. Arab-Israeli artists had urged Awad to decline the invitation, saying it was a cynical attempt by Israel to improve its image.

The final, which attracts about 100 million viewers worldwide, will take place Saturday night.

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