Izhar Cohen (Giv'atayim, 13 March 1951) is an Israeli singer and theater actor.


Cohen comes from a musical family. His father ("the great Suleiman") was already a well-known singer for the Foundation of the State and his brother Hophni is a well-known Oriental singer in Israel. Izhar grew up in Tel Aviv and did his service in a band of the Nachal, where he was often vocal soloist. After his service he acted in the theater of Haifa.

His big break came in 1978, when he as a representative of Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest, along with the group The Alphabeta. The winning song "A-ba-ni-bi", was set to music by Nurit Hirsch and words by Ehud Manor. The title of the song is the Hebrew word "ani" ("I") in the children's code "B-language" (the chorus is "ani ohev otach" dressed as "obatabach" or obohebev in the Dutch abanibi "I love you" dressed as "joubou vaban ibik houbou").

Some time after his international success he suffered depression, from which he recovered only with a very intensive treatment.

Cohen again represented Israel in the Eurovision song contest 1985 with the song "Ole Ole". This time, he was vocal accompanied with by a ongenaamde group of vocalists, including Chaim Cohen that later under the name Adam would be a childhood Idol. Ole Ole means in Hebrew "up up", but also has an international sound. The music was by Kobi Oshrat and Ben-Ze'ev's words. The song ended at the honorable 5th place.

Like a real Eurovision artist tried two more times in the Cohen Kdam Eurovision, in 1982 (7th place) and 1987 (5th place). In 1987, he sang a duet with his sister, the singer Vardina Cohen. Like many Israeli singers are the Cohens of Judeo-Yemeni descent.

Izhar Cohen is committed to the rights of the LGBT community in Israel.



Single (s) with any charts in the

the Dutch Top 40

Date of


Date of




Number Of


A ba ni bi 1978 13-5-1978 12 6 with The Alphabeta / Alarm drive
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