Israel’s national broadcasting company may no longer meet the membership requirements of the European Broadcasting Union, according to a report by YNet.
‘KAN’ is the newly created national public broadcaster of Israel, responsible for a number of channels all falling under the new ‘Kan’ brand. Replacing the existing ‘Israel Broadcasting Authority, or ‘IBA’, Kan (meaning ‘Here’ in Hebrew) offers one central station of ‘general programming’, a children’s channel, an Arabic-speaking channel, and a selection of radio stations. The channel of general programming is to offer entertainment broadcasts such as the Eurovision Song Contest – operated by the European Broadcasting Union. The problem? Well, the EBU aren’t happy that the station is dedicated to entertainment broadcasts and insist that as a full member station, they must offer news and current events programming within the schedule. Being a member of the Union, it is mandatory that the station provides news programming in order to broadcast EBU productions and events – failing to do so would prevent the broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest and sporting events like the FIFA World Cup.
Should Kan fail to broadcast news programmes, the station would not be able to broadcast this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The rules of the contest state that all participating broadcasters must air the contest in order to enter and vote – this right would, therefore, be taken away from the new Israeli station.
When commenting on the matter, the European Broadcasting Union were said to be “astounded” by the government’s interference with the broadcaster and the fact that the station is not authorised to air news programmes as a result of it.
Kan is set to start broadcasting as the public, national service on April 30th, 2017 – two weeks ahead of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. In theory, this should prevent the nation’s participation, however, there is a possibility that the EBU will make an exception for Israel until this year’s contest has passed.
No official comment has been made by the European Broadcasting Union or Kan about the matter.
Imri will be performing the song “I Feel Alive” for Israel, this May in Kyiv, Ukraine. The song has been written and composed by Dolev Ram & Penn Hazut, and was internally selected by a committee at the Israeli broadcaster made up of Dr. Moshe Morad, Aliza Dayan-Hamama and Yuval Ganor , Tmira Yardeni, Mira Spiegel and Tomer G and Aviad Rosenboim.
Imri Ziv won HaKokhav HaBa L’Eirovizion back in February, beating off competition from four other artists in the final. The results of the Super Final were as follows:
- Julietta – Shikorim me’ahava (Eden Ben-Zaken) – 58% & 4 Yes’
- Imri Ziv – Because of you (Kelly Clarkson) -74% & 4 Yes’ – 1st
- Diana Golbi – Purple rain (Prince) – 66%
Imri has previous experience of performing at the Eurovision Song Contest. For the past two years, he has been a backing singer for the Israeli delegation, performing with both Hovi Star and Nadav Guedj. He will be hoping to continue Israel’s record of qualifying for the Eurovision final every year since HaKokhav HaBa was introduced as the Israeli selection process.
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Israel debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973, and were represented by Ilanit who finished in 4th place with the song “Ey Sham”. Their first victory came in 1978 with Izar Cohen and the Alphabeta. Israel won again the following year with Gali Atari & Milk and Honey. Israel’s most recent victory came in 1998 when Dana International performed “Diva” in Birmingham, beating Malta to victory in a tense voting sequence. Israel struggled in the contest during the early-2010s, failing to qualify for the final from 2011-2014. However since the HaKokhav HaBa selection process was introduced in 2015 they have qualified twice, with Nadav Guedj finishing in 9th in 2015 and Hovi Star finishing in 14th in 2016.