Posted by: Lister | February 8, 2007

Anastasia Michaeli and the ‘Arab look’

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.)

Liel from 2005



  1. Michaeli is now a member of the Knesset. Source:

    New MKs on Lieberman’s list include Orly Levy, a TV hostess and a daughter of former Foreign Minister David Levy; former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Danny Ayalon; and Russian-language TV personality Anastasia Michaeli, a mother of seven who immigrated to Israel 11 years ago and converted to Judaism.

  2. […] complained on her Russian-language TV program that Israel’s entry into Eurovision “looks Arab.”) […]

  3. From Haaretz:

    The Central Elections Committee has ordered three Knesset members with dual citizenship to annul their foreign passports by next Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony, or at least begin steps to cancel them.

    The three lawmakers are Yohanan Plesner of Kadima (who has Danish citizenship), Nitzan Horowitz of Meretz (a Polish citizen) and Yisrael Beiteinu’s Anastasia Michaeli, who holds a Russian passport.

    (Via the above comment — thanks!)

  4. […] und führte zu Tumulten im israelischen Parlament. Anastasia Michaeli, das russische Ex-Model, die antiarabische Entertainerin und Abgeordnete der rechten Partei Jisrael Beitenu (Unser Haus Israel), unterbrach Zoabi wütend. […]

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