The Israeli Culture and Sports Minister has stated that if the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 cannot be hosted in Jerusalem, then Israel should not host next years contest at all.
Following comments from the Director General of the Culture and Sports Ministry yesterday, the Culture and Sports Minister has now spoken out against her colleagues comments. Miri Regev stated today that either Jerusalem is selected as next years host city for the Eurovision Song Contest, or Israel should not host the competition at all.
With all due respect to the (European Broadcasting) Union, Israel has the right to decide where to host Eurovision…it is a beautiful show and there are no issues with the substance, but the point is also that the state shows itself on the occasion.
The final decision will be taken by the prime minister, but if they ask me, I’ll say the right thing to do is either host it in Jerusalem or spend the 50 million shekels necessary in some other way,
This isn’t the first time that the Culture and Sports Minister has voice her opinions on how next years competition should held. Both Communications Minister Ayoub Kara and Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev declared that Jerusalem would host the contest in 2019, the EBU has called their statements premature, telling fans to hold off on booking flights until a final announcement is made.
Last week, IPBC, the Israeli national broadcaster, met with the European Broadcasting Union for a preliminary discussion on the scope and expectations for hosting the contest in Israel. The two parties are expected to meet in Geneva later this month.
However, Israel’s plan to host Eurovision has courted some controversy, from IPBC’s status as an EBU broadcaster and concerns over boycotts. Problems have also arisen even within Israel, such as religious authorities’ concerns over the Shabbat.