The runner-up in Israel’s version of “American Idol” was urged not to shirk mandatory military service.
Marina Maximilian-Bluming finished second in Wednesday night’s final of “A Star is Born,” despite widespread expectations that the 19-year-old diva would win.
Yisrael Hasson, a senior lawmaker with the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, said disclosures during the top-rated television contest that Maximilian-Bluming had not served in the Israeli military had cost her the crown.
“The viewing audience has a hard time supporting draft dodgers,” Hasson wrote Maximilian-Bluming in a letter that was leaked to the Israeli media Thursday. “For me it is shocking that you decided to skip national miltiary service or community service.”
Hasson called on the singer to don a uniform, saying it would help her career and conscience.
“Your influence as a great artist would be greater, at times, than that of a legislator,” he wrote, adding that Maximilian-Bluming has no chance of representing Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest — another major steppingstone — unless she first commits to national service.
Maximilian-Bluming had no immediate response. Producers of “A Star is Born” previously rebuffed public censure on the military service issue, saying that those of its contestants who had not been drafted had sound legal reasons.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.