Saturday, May. 16, 2009

(No) Air Jordan

In 1978, at one of several low points in relations between Israel and its neighbors, Jordan refused to broadcast the Israeli entry, "Abanibi", by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta. (Loosely translated, the song's title means "I Love You" — note the irony.) Viewers were instead greeted with pictures of flowers. Complicating matters, however, Israel ending up winning that year's contest, held in Paris; Jordanian broadcasters cut the transmission and its media simply announced that runners-up Belgium had come first. (You could pull that kind of stunt pre-Internet.) Nevertheless, when Lebanon attempted the same trick in 2005, they were forced to withdraw for a breach of contest rules.

See pictures of the Pope in the Middle East.