Israel participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. After much deliberation at the IBA over who would be the Israeli representative, it was announced that Noa & Mira Awad will go to Moscow for Israel.
In a national final, Kdam Eurovision 2009, held on 2 March 2009, it was decided through the votes of juries and televoting, that the song that the duo will perform at Eurovision will be "There Must Be Another Way" (Einaiych).
Although not geographically in Europe, Israel has been allowed to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest since it is a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which all member states must be to compete. Israel's first participation was in 1973, where it was represented by Ilanit and placed fourth.
Israel's first victory came in 1978, when Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta won with "A-Ba-Ni-Bi". The 1979 contest was therefore held in Israel, the first time the contest was held outside of Europe, where Israel won again, this time represented by Gali Atari & Milk and Honey with "Hallelujah". The country is one of only four countries to win the contest while on home soil. The 1980 Contest, however, was not held in Israel, due to the IBA's lack of funds to host another event, and so it was moved to the Netherlands. The date set for this contest, however, was Israeli Memorial Day, so the IBA withdrew. Israel's third, and most recent, win to date came in 1998, when Dana International won with "Diva".
The Israeli national broadcaster, Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) broadcasts the event each year and organizes the selection process for the its entry. The selection process has varied over the years from completely internal selections where the IBA chooses the performer and song, to a national final format where the public can vote for either the performer, the song, or both.
It had been rumored that Harel Skaat would be the 2009 Israeli Eurovision entrant. In the past he had been approached to represent Israel at Eurovision, but had turned the IBA down on its offer. In 2009, he was once again tipped as the leading candidate to be the entrant, but only on the condition that a current dispute between him and his former record label, Hed Arzi Music, is resolved, which forbids him from recording new material, for any purpose. This legal dispute, however, ended in failure, putting Skaat out of the running for Eurovision.Marina Maximillian Blumin had been revealed as a possibility for the IBA's committee after Skaat's failure, but could only head to Moscow if she could resolve issues with her current military service. Maya Bouskilla had also been revealed as a possibility, she was also enlisted in the Israeli army as of May 2008.
On 11 January, it was announced by the IBA that Achinoam Nini, known as Noa, will represent Israel at the contest and it was later revealed that she would be joined by Mira Awad. With the decision to send Awad, the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 will be the first time an Israeli Arab singer will represent Israel. Noa has revealed that their song for Eurovision will be performed in English, Hebrew and Arabic, "with the goal of using [Eurovision] as a means to convey a message of peace in these difficult times".
Kdam Eurovision was used by the IBA to select the song that will be performed for Israel at Moscow. Due to financial difficulties, the commercial channel Channel 2 was not able to co-produce Kdam Eurovision as in last year's contest. Noa and Mira Awad will perform four songs, all with lyrics in English, Hebrew and Arabic, with the public selecting the winning song in a televised final on 2 March 2009. All songs were written by Noa, Mira Awad and Gil Dor.
In the show, the winner was decided through the votes of three juries and a televote. Two juries in the north and south of Israel, in Kiryat Shmona and Beersheba, comprised 15% of the final vote each. They were joined by a jury made by the IBA, making 30% of the vote, and a televote, comprising the remaining 40%. The winner of the contest was "There Must Be Another Way" (Einaiych), and will be the song sung at Eurovision.
Israel had to compete in one of the two semi-finals after Boaz Mauda came ninth in the 2008 contest. The song competed in the first semi-final and progressed to the finals. In the final itself, Israel performed in the number two slot, a position from which no entry has ever won the contest. It eventually finished in 16th place.