Eurovision 2019: “Jerusalem might not be the host city”, says Senior Israeli Official

by Stratos Agadellis 2,768 views

It seems that we are going to pass through a long road until the official announcement of the host city of Eurovision 2019. Despite the statements of the winner Netta, as well as the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the contest will take place in Jerusalem, some newer words from a Senior Israeli official are now making the situation even more complicated.

Yossi Sharabi: “Jerusalem? It isn’t at all a given…”

Undoubtedly, there has been much of speculation after Israel’s victory in Lisbon, concerning the EBU’s request from the fans not to go book tickets and accommodation as of yet and the potential withdrawal of several countries if Jerusalem hosts the event. And that seems to be taken into account by some members of the current Israeli government.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the general director of the Ministry of Culture and Sport Yossi Sharabi has stated that it should not be taken for granted that Jerusalem will be hosting the 2019 Eurovision edition, as the event might take place in another city.

Here are his exact statements:

Eurovision in Jerusalem? It isn’t at all a given. It’s early to talk about this. Everybody wants it to be in Jerusalem. But there could well be other considerations.

Once again, the probability of moving the contest outside the proposed city doesn’t seem unfounded, as these statements were made after with Yossi Sharabi being asked about Argentina’s request for cancellation of the friendly football match between them and Israel, after its movement from Haifa to Jerusalem.

The Minister’s view is different, though…

But the statements of the responsible government official doesn’t seem to agree with the general director. Miri Ragev, the Minister of Culture and Sport of Israel was categorical that Jerusalem should certainly be the 2019 host city, otherwise it “would not be right for Israel to host it”.

When speaking to the country’s national broadcaster KAN, she also referred to the large amount of money that the state of Israel intends to spend for the contest’s conduct, making clear that it would not be worth it, if it doesn’t take place there:

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.

It all seems that the near future will be full of further developments on this much-discussed issue. It is only a matter of time for us to find out what finally happens…