Anastasia Michaeli, caused some controversy last month during the selection of Israel’s representative to the Eurovision song contest. From the JPost
But making even more news than the change in selection procedure were statements made after the decision by committee member Anastasia Michaeli, a host on Israel’s main Russian-language channel. Apparently in reference to Liel, a Jewish pop singer who had been considered for this year’s Eurovision spot, Michaeli told the YNet Web site that the country shouldn’t be represented by a singer who “looks Arab,” later adding that “I’m for equality and personally am not racist.”
But Michaeli isn’t just a Russian-Israeli TV anchor, she was a candidate in Kadima party elections. Yes, Kadima. The party of Olmert — he who says Lieberman’s distasteful politics are not an issue.
The TV host went on to say she would have been pleased by a Eurovision performance from Hahush Hashishi (The Sixth Sense), a threesome of singers whose families recently immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union.
[…] In response to Michaeli’s remarks, Arazi noted that Israel’s three Eurovision victors – Yizhar Cohen, Gali Atari and Dana International – all hail from a Mizrahi background, and that the singers themselves had darker complexions than many of their Ashkenazi counterparts.
Here is Liel Kolet, btw. (Part of the group six4one, who represented Switzerland in 2006.)