Pop star Noa Kirel — AKA “the Israeli Britney Spears” — is representing Israel at Eurovision 2023 with her song “Unicorn.” For Kirel and many Israelis, Eurovision is about so much more than a music contest.

“You have no idea what a huge honor it is for me to represent our country…It’s a source of pride for me and I’ll try my best to make you proud of me,” the 22-year-old star said. So, why is Eurovision so important for Israel? To be “a country like any other” is all Israel has ever wanted.

Watch videos of Israel at Eurovision through the years:
“A-Ba-Ni-Bi” by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta (1978 winner): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ch5rEYB0-M
“Hallelujah” by Milk & Honey (1979 winner): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX6-z-OOvQA
“Chai” by Ofra Haza (1983): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMPXFxJYoWI
“Diva” by Dana International (1998 winner): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8ZfreUQfvc
“Hasheket Shenish’ar” by Shiri Maimon (2005): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyChlzTADQY
“Toy” by Netta Barzilai (2018 winner): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92sDnLblj38
“Feker Libi” by Eden Alene (2020): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjzyZZ-oidc
“Unicorn” by Noa Kirel (2023): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwPEtD0_mx4