Israeli websites, Ynet.co.il & Walla.co.il, report today that the IBA (Israeli broadcaster) has formally addressed the EBU, in a complaint against the new voting system, threatning to withdraw from the 2004 contest.
IBA's main complaint regards the decision to extend the voting on May 12th's semi-final entries until Saturday, May 15th. The IBA claims in this address, that this new system 'damages the equality principle of the song contest's voting. Those who will vote in the days after the semi-final will not be able to remember the songs properly', says IBA's spokesman. 'In addition, part of the votes will probably be of those who would not even watch the semi-final. This kind of voting will be motivated by promotional campaigns which Israel and other countries do not have the ability to organize', adds the spokesman. IBA claims to understand the need to keep the suspense until the Saturday, so now offers that the voting on the semi-final entries will be compelted at the same night, May 12th, whereas the results will be announced, as planned, on the Saturday. The IBA states that if the new voting procedure is not modified, Israel will consider withdrawing from the 2004 contest.
David D'Or, Israel's entrant to the upcoming contest, said to Ynet.co.il: 'The contest is not my private project, but a mission given to me by the IBA. I will respect any decision which will be taken in this matter, with all the sorrow and pain it involves. I truely support the IBA's standpoint in this issue'. D'Or adds: 'The EBU's decision to keep us, the artists, in this enormous anxiety and tension during the 3 days could be considered as an unfair mental abuse, which will not enable us to perform with our art. Music is all about energies and emotions. Which emotions am I expected to have during these 3 days? It will surely damage the preparations to the final'.