Israel's Eurovision song to feature English, Hebrew, Amharic and Arabic

'Feker Libi' will be sung by Eden Alene, who is of Ethiopian descent


Israel will be represented at Eurovision 2020 in the Netherlands by an Israeli of Ethiopian-descent who will sing in four languages.

Israeli audiences and judges selected ‘Feker Libi’, which features lyrics in English, Hebrew, Arabic and Amharic, for Eden Alene, 19, on Tuesday evening.

The Israeli national selection contest featured five songs performed by Ms Alene, and invited in studio judges who had 60 per cent of the voting power, while audience voting made up the other 40 per cent.

Ms Alene was chosen as the Israeli representative after winning popular singing contest ‘Rising Star’ on public broadcaster KAN. Ms Alene will become the first person of Ethiopian descent to appear at Eurovision.

“I didn’t have a favourite,” said Ms Alene after the broadcast, “it’s a song that represents the whole country, it made me emotional – and it was also fun, fun!”

Jerusalem-born Ms Alene, is currently serving in the Israel Defence Forces where she sings in a military band.

She won X Factor Israel in 2017 and had previously sang for two years with the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Club, a mixed Jewish-Arab choir.

This was the first time that the Israeli public had been able to help select their Eurovision entry since 2016.

‘Feker Libi’, which means ‘my love’ in Amharic, was written by Israeli singer-songwriters Doron Medalie and Idan Raichel.

Idan Raichel, who is best known for his performances under the moniker ‘the Idan Raichel Project’ is best known for his fusion of Hebrew, Arabic and Amharic influences in his music.

The song is largely in English, with the chorus in Amharic, Hebrew and Arabic.

Israel hosted Eurovision in 2019, after pop star Netta won the year before with song ‘Toy’. This year Eurovision will be held in Rotterdam, after the Dutch entrant won in Tel Aviv.

Prior to the contest, broadcaster KAN announced it was cancelling a ‘meet and greet’ in the Netherlands by the Israeli Eurovision delegation, because of coronavirus warnings from the Israeli Health Ministry.

Israel will perform in the first semi-final in Rotterdam on May 12, and the country will be hoping that it qualifies for the grand final on May 16.  

The UK, as one of the "big five" financial contributors to the European Broadcasting Union, which organises European, does not have to compete to perform at the final.

The UK will be represented by James Newman’s ‘My Last Breath’. 

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive