Good news coming from Israel!
The Israeli Government has said it will finally give up on their desire to host the Eurovision Song Contest in the city of Jerusalem, after a long argument between the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and several public figures from Israel, including the Minister of Culture and Sport, Miri Regev, who stated for the national broadcaster KAN:
"It will cost Israel NIS 50 million (£10 million – $14 million) and is designed to market the country. So I personally say, if the Eurovision won’t be held in Jerusalem, it’s not right to invest the NIS 50 million in public funds."
According to news station Channel 20, the decision was made between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, during a telephone conversation on Friday; hence Regev did not get a chance to emphasize his point of view. The four politicians decided that eventually, all negotiations on the matter will be handled exclusively by national broadcaster, Kan.
Furthermore, according to The Times of Israel, The Culture Ministry issued a statement saying that "Regev had been updated about the conversation and would be 'dealing with this issue in the future'."
The main reason why the Prime Minister would have decided to withdraw from supporting Jerusalem as a host, apart from the fact that the European Broadcasting Union did not support the idea in the first place and still doesn't, could be the fact that some people from certain countries threatened not to participate in Eurovision 2019, including two European Parliament lawmakers and The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál Mac Donncha, There is also the petition made by Icelandic people which has got a massive support so far. Even though these tensions seem to be in the past now, it was wise and considerate of Israeli politicians not to fuel any other future conflicts.
Host candidate cities: who is competing to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest?
As of now, there are four cities who are running in the competition for hosting Eurovision: Petah Tikva, Jerusalem, Haifa and Eilat.
According to Israeli business newspaper Globes, a delegation from the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC) will travel to the first working meeting with EBU representatives in Geneva next week, which will be led by the corporation's CEO Eldad Koblenz, who will be accompanied by, among others, IPBC's EBU liaison person Tal Barnea.
The reason why these four cities are most favoured is because of the EBU's specific requirements regarding a possible host city:
a stadium with a capacity of at least 10,000 people
a press center for about 1,500 journalists
hotel capacity of about 3,000 rooms
round the clock public transportation
to be in the vicinity of an international airport
However, these cities will have to submit detailed bids to the EBU in order to be considered for hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
All in all, we can only witness what is to come, and all the details about the 64th edition of Eurovision Song Contest shall be soon revealed. So stay tuned and don't forget to follow us on social media for more information!