Since Netta won the contest back in May with her song, "Toy", there has been a lot of debate amongst the EBU, Israel, and fans, as to how, and where the next edition would be held. Netta clearly stated that the next edition of the competition would be held in Jerusalem, with Israel's prime minister also hinting at this.
The mayor of Tel Aviv also led weight behind this, by declaring that the city would not be bidding for the rights to host the next competition. Despite the city holding one of the largest Eurovision pre-parties, they simply do not want to hold the next contest.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Jerusalem due to the escalating crisis over Gaza that has seen many die in conflict in the last few months. This has led to the European Broadcasting Union wondering whether or not it would be appropriate to hold it here.
What has made the issue more contentious, is the fact that several countries which include Ireland, Iceland, and the United Kingdom threaten to withdraw, plunging the EBU to act quickly, by setting up meetings and declaring that they would be prepared to take the contest out of the country if necessary. Especially after the drama surrounding the Ukraine and Russia back in 2016, Eurovision does not want a repeat of the complications that dogged the contest, and make the European Broadcasting Union appear weak.
Even yesterday, more pressure was mounted on Israel when Argentina cancelled a football World Cup warm up match with them, citing the treatment of Palestinians in Gaza as the reason for this.
What is interesting is that Yossi Sharabi, who is the director general of the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport has seemed to have now thrown a little doubt on whether Jerusalem would actually host. According to Haaretz when pressed about the Argentinian football team, and Eurovision he stated that Jerusalem is the preferred city, however, "there could well be other considerations.... Eurovision in Jerusalem? It isn't all a given", and that, "it's to early to talk about this".
It is expected that the EBU, and those responsible for hosting in Israel will meet further in the month at Geneva. Certainly, fans are currently in limbo as no official decisions have been made, with the European Broadcasting Union warming fans to hold off booking flights for the final, until it is officially confirmed. Generally fans are quite quick in booking hotels, and flights in advance to get the best deals. The announcement by the EBU may certainly put a few people off.
It has somewhat of a tradition that the winning country would host next years competition. Although, this has not always been the case, it will be very interesting as to how this will play out.
Whatever happens, there is certainly going to be more drama when it comes to where the next edition of Eurovision will be held. Stay tuned for further information.
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