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Israel Places Second in European Song Contest

April 29, 1983
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Israel’s entry in the annual Eurovision song contest won second place, behind Luxembourg. The audience in Munich, where the contest was held last weekend, was visibly moved and applauded boisterously as Ofra Haza sang “Chai” (Life).

The Israeli song proclaims: “Listen, brother I’m still alive, and my eyes turn to the light/My grand father dreamt it, my father sang it and today I say it/Israel is alive, the people of Israel live.”

An estimated 500 million viewers here and in 25 other countries watched the proceedings of the song contest that were televised via satellite. Israelis were particularly proud that their country’s song won such a high honor and that Haza, the youngest of nine Yemenite children from the poor Hatikva quarter of Tel Aviv, received a rousing ovation. Nineteen other countries were also represented at the contest.

This was the second year that both Turkey and Cyprus cast zero votes for Israel’s entries. Most other countries judging the contest awarded “Chai” 6-12 points.

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