Eurovision 2019: The EBU’s statement regarding the letter to the Israeli government

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,242 views

In the wake of recent reports in the Israeli press stating that the EBU had sent a letter to the Israeli government requesting it to sign a pre conditions contract in order to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, ESCToday decided to investigate further and reached out to the EBU in order to clarify the matter and throw more light on the situation.

Last week saw several Israeli newspapers reporting that the EBU had sent an official letter to Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netenyahu requesting him to comply with the following pre conditions in order for the country to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest:

  • Granting entry visas to participants and fans regardless of their political views.
  • Unrestricted travel around Israel for fans, delegations and artists regardless of their political views, religion, or sexual orientation.
  • Free press access and commitment to free expression for all participants and delegations.
  • Removal of all religious restrictions, including holding rehearsals on Shabbat.
  • Complete independence for the national public broadcaster KAN in editing the broadcast
These reports led to a mediatic frenzy in Israel with many key figures reacting and commenting on the EBU’s pre conditions and requests. Hence ESCToday contacted the EBU in order to verify if such letter had been sent out to the Israeli government.

The EBU’s statement

The EBU confirmed to ESCToday that a letter had been sent out and gave the following statement regarding this issue:
This is a typical letter we send every year, regardless of country, to help ensure the smooth running of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Thus one can gather that the EBU would like to the contest to run smoothly and ensure that there should be no interference in the competition’s content, fans should not be banned from entering the coutry regardless of their political views and background,  the preparations of the contest and rehersals should not be interrupted on Saturday, press should have freedom of speech and expression during their visit to Israel.
The 2019 Eurovision host city and dates are yet to be officially announced by the EBU, an announcement which is imminent and expected to take place in due course.