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Israeli singer wins Eurovision contest

Israel’s Netta Barzilai won the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon on Saturday, bringing Israel its fourth victory in the glitzy pageant, watched by more than 200mn people around the world.

The 63rd edition of the annual event marked the first time the event took place in Portugal.

“Next time in Jerusalem!” Barzilai, a smiling 25-year-old live looping artist, shouted after being named the winner.

“I’m so happy! Thank you for accepting differences between us. Thank you for celebrating diversity!” Wearing a Japanese-style kimono and geisha hairdo, she won with a lively dance mix, singing I’m Not Your Toy that has a women’s empowerment twist, beating Cypriot entry Eleni Foureira with her fiery Latin pop song Fuego.

“I believe that authenticity passes through,” said Barzilai, who has previously described the message of her song as being about female power and justice, but with a happy, colourful vibe.

Israel made its debut in the contest in 1971 and had previously won in 1978, 1979 and 1998.

Forty-three countries participated in the contest, equalling the record of the 2008 and 2011 editions.

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