Sep 2015: Eurovision Song Contest deadline looms
ISRAEL - Nations planning to compete in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest must register by mid September. As winner of Eurovision 2018, Israel is host in 2019. The registration list will answer whether the lure of the glass microphone trophy is strong enough to prevent boycotts by nations that oppose Israeli policies.
Netta Barzilai, an Israeli, won the trophy in Lisbon, Portugal, the 2018 host. The event coincided with some of the heaviest bloodshed at the Gaza-Israel fence, for which Israel was criticized at the United Nations and elsewhere. The 40-plus countries that compete each year in the song contest include some of the most vociferous critics of Israel’s use of deadly force against protesting Palestinians, of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and of the country’s recent claim to contested Jerusalem.
The song contest is open to public broadcasters with membership in the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the annual event. The competition is second only to the quadrennial World Cup soccer tournament for the size and ardor of its television audience, which the organizers put at some 180 million.
Eurovision World reports that the Mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, stated on May 14 that his city will not bid to host Eurovision 2019, leaving Jerusalem as the most likely host city.