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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 19:21 GMT
Eurovision 'Armageddon' in Israel
Dana International
No stranger to contest controversy with the first trans-sexual winner
Israelis have voted overwhelmingly for a song about nuclear annihilation as their country's entry in this year's Eurovision Song contest.

Push the Button is widely thought to be a response to Iran's nuclear ambitions and the Islamic republic's fiery president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Teapacks, the song's performers, say it is their role to stir up controversy.

Mr Ahmadinejad has called for an end to the Israeli state, though Iran insists its nuclear programme is peaceful.

"The idea is to do something that crosses the accepted norms," singer Kobi Oz told reporters.

Controversial entry

The group was picked as Israel's contest competitor earlier, and they offered up four songs to the telephone-voting Israeli public, which overwhelmingly chose Push the Button.

The lyrics are sung in English, French and Hebrew and the music fluctuates between folk, rap and hard rock themes.

Another of their songs was the facetiously titled Salam Salami, so-named after the group discovered that its original lyrics, with words taken from the Bible, broke Eurovision Song Contest rules on suitable content.

TEAPACKS - PUSH THE BUTTON
Teapacks (picture courtesy of Teapacks website)
The world is full of terror, if someone makes an error, he's gonna blow us up to kingdom come.

There are some crazy rulers, they hide and try to fool us, with demonic, technologic willingness to harm

However, many viewers of the contest, to be held in Finland in May, may not find the eventual Israeli pick to be any less tasteless.

Not only does Oz sing about "demonic" and "crazy rulers" and the threat of being "blown to kingdom come", but he continues with the lyrics:

"And I don't wanna die, I wanna see the flowers bloom, don't wanna go kaput-kaboom."

The song appears to reflect a widespread Israeli view that Iran's nuclear programme is a threat to the Jewish state's very existence.

In October 2004, President Ahmadinejad made a statement in which he envisaged the replacement of Israel with a Palestinian state.

Experts say Israel has its own nuclear arsenal, although it tries to maintain a policy of "nuclear ambiguity" and has never signed the international treaties to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

In Eurovision terms, Israel is no stranger to controversy either: its entry in 1998 was sung by a trans-sexual, Dana International, who went on to win the contest.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Israel's Eurovision entry, Push the Button



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