The mayor of the Israeli city of Petah Tikva has announced that he is interesting in holding the 2019 contest in the city.
Since Netta won the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon on Saturday for Israel, attention has turned to which Israeli city will host the 2019 contest. During her victory speech, Netta suggested the event would be held in Jerusalem. Tel Aviv has been a popular suggestion amongst fans.
A third city has now thrown its hat in the ring. The mayor of Petah Tikva, Itzik Braverman, has been quoted by the Israeli news portal Mako as saying:
“I know that there is an argument today where to put this event – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv. I think it’s time for Petah Tikva. Petah Tikva is more than a sleepy city. It is a living city with activity, with culture, with places to go out, to spend time, to rejoice…”
A Facebook campaign page has been launched for the Petah Tikva bid to host Eurovision 2019. Hundreds of local people have already signed up to the group. The initiative was begun by Tal Grupper, a Eurovision fan from the city. He has said in relation to the campaign:
Between all the discussions about Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, they do not dare to think about other cities. I think there is no better way to bring Petah Tivka back to its grandeur than to host the Eurovision Song Contest.”
Petah Tikva is an city located in the central region of Israel and is the fifth most populous in the country with around 230,000 inhabitants. It is located just 10km east of Tel Aviv. However, the city currently lacks a venue which is likely to be big enough to host Eurovision. Tal Grupper has argued that if Azerbaijan can build a venue in half a year, there is no reason why the same cannot be done in Israel.
Representatives of the European Broadcasting Union will be traveling to Israel tomorrow to meet with IPBC to discuss hosting next years competition. Israel’s hosting of the 2019 contest has already proven to be controversial both within Israel but also internationally.