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Eurovision’19: Legal Questions Surround IPBC’s EBU Membership

The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation’s future membership of the European Broadcasting Union is being questioned as the High Court is set to rule on whether IPBC truly is a public broadcaster.

The ability of IPBC to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 is being further questioned, as law makers push for a final decision on whether IPBC is truly a public broadcaster according to the European Broadcasting Union.

When IPBC was setup last year, a law was passed to setup IPBC it stated that the news department and the other departments of the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation must be split. This law directly goes against the membership criteria of the European Broadcasting Union, which requires broadcasters to have both news and entertainment departments under them.

Currently IPBC holds temporary membership with the EBU, which was approved following a provisional High Court ruling that stopped the splitting of the news department from the rest of IPBC. However Israeli lawmakers are now calling on the High Court to issue a final ruling on the matter, before it affects the ability of Israel to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.

Communications Minister Ayoub Kara has formally requested that Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to push for the High Court ruling that would ensure that the news department is not split from IPBC, ensuring that it can attain full EBU membership.  Alongside the Communications Minister, Opposition MK Eitan Cabel has proposed a bill that would replace the old law. The MK has titled the bill “Bill to Save Eurovision in Israel”, with Cabel explaining that;

The split of the IPBC was a political and cynical process, and now it’s clear that it is also causing damage to the State of Israel.

The latest discussion about the ability of IPBC to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, comes alongside a number of reports in the Israeli media about reported disagreements between IPBC and the EBU.

Citing a meeting last week between the Israeli Public Broadcating Corporation and the European Broadcasting Union, Maariv reported that the EBU has stated they are concerned about the ramifications of Jerusalem hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.

The EBU which oversees the competition stating is also reportedly increasingly concerned about the politicisation of the 2019 contest. According to Haaretz, the source at KAN states that the EBU “did not care” for the remarks made by Miri Regev and Ayoub Kara about hosting and producing the 2019 contest in Jerusalem. They elaborated that;

The decisions made by Regev and Kara before even hearing anything about hosting the Eurovision are not deemed customary in the eyes of the Union’s officials

Both of the ministers have stated that they wished their ministries to be involved in the production of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. Communications Minister Ayoub Kara stated that he would invited Arab states to participate in next years contest. The nations that the Minister named included countries who are ineligible to take part in the Song Contest.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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