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TV & Radio

Israel sends Dana International back to Eurovision

Flamboyant transsexual Israeli pop diva Dana International, who won the Eurovision in 1998, will once again represent her homeland at the European song contest - only this time with a "Ding Dong."

At least, that's the name of the song she will perform at the contest which will be held in Germany later this year.

The singer, who brought Israel its last victory in the contest with the song "Diva" in 1998, was selected by viewers after a televised competition held on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old entertainer, who was born Yaron Cohen, said she was elated to be going back to Eurovison with "Ding Dong" - a catchy pop number with lyrics in both Hebrew and English.

"I'm crazy about this country," she told the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper after the results were announced.

"I love everyone and I'm really happy to have been given another opportunity to bring the Eurovison back to Israel."

Her last win was hailed in Israel as a victory for those who promote a liberal, tolerant agenda and who often clash with the more conservative, religious elements.

Israel has won the Eurovision song contest two other times - in 1978 and 1979.