In the wake of Europe’s financial crisis, Eurovision has been getting smaller and smaller when it comes to participation. The 2014 contest was the smallest in recent memory, with only 37 countries present. We’d hate to lose any more. Thankfully Cyprus set our hearts alight when it emerged recently that Nicosia will return in 2015. But just as quickly as we jumped for joy, we now find ourselves poised to sob into our pillows. Word has it that Israel, one of Eurovision’s longest-running entrants, may be bowing out of the contest.

According to the EBU, the Israeli Broadcasting Authority, which has been a member since 1957, and participated in Eurovision since 1973, faces significant cutbacks that might force it to shutdown. A slimmer and more efficient organization will likely take its place. You might recall this happening in Greece this year, albeit at a glacial pace. That almost led Greece to withdraw. However, it is more likely that Israel will withdraw because its changes will start around March of next year. They will not have the time, money, or broadcaster to participate at Eurovision.

That’s not all, though. Yaakov Neve, a board member of the IBA, recently told the Jewish Turkish-language newspaper Salom that he has been extremely disappointed with Israel’s recent non-qualifying streak, blaming Israel’s misfortune on political tensions. After the shocking early exit by diva Mei Finegold, I don’t blame him.

If Israel were to withdraw, how would this affect the number of countries in the contest? Obviously, we would be missing one country. However, Moroccan broadcaster 2MTV, known for its support of free speech and taboo-breaking in Morocco, has applied for EBU membership. Should this be granted in time, the broadcaster will more than likely bring Morocco back for their second participation after their only entry, in the 1980 contest.

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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Danny
Guest
Danny

@mawnck – no, Israel was not the best song this year and nobody claims it was. But it did not advance to the final while atrocities like the Polish and Greek songs (not to mention Iceland) did. When things like that happen, I cannot blame the Israelis for their wish to withdraw. With less countries participating each year, the competition is quickly losing its relevance anyway. I am sure Europe will absolutely delight at the songs from Morocco and Lebanon. Enjoy them!!

Ruben
Guest
Ruben

Israel is in my opinion one of the best participating countries in the Eurovision Song Contest. In the past they have sent many good artists and songs: f.e. in 1973, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. They should stay.

Ilias
Guest
Ilias

This not very trustful info !!! BTW I am Moroccan and 2M TV isnt a national Channel -_- Where did u read that 2M TV is accepted by the EBU o.O SNRT isnt interested after the fail in 1980 so they wont participate and thats the only active Member in EBU for Morocco Also We dont comeback if Israel withdraw cause they withdraw many other years like 1984, 1994, 1996 & 1997 and did you saw Morocco comeback NO.! I am so tired of it that people compare Morocco with Lebanon! Morocco has as one of the few arab countries… Read more »

Jak
Guest
Jak

Yay, I am the person that added this information to Wikipedia, and as a Turkish Jew it’s a honour to see my news goes international!

Personally, I just think that Israel don’t have an option as being withdraw; such as Turkey. Eurovision is an amazing chance to feel “completely” European (actually Israelis are ‘real’ Europeans) on our roots. Israel with a strong economy also. Remember Austria and the Netherlands… Both of this countries couldn’t make it to the final for years but this year they are top two! Maybe, it’s the time to win for Israel in 2015? 🙁

Alex
Guest
Alex

Israel should withdraw because of the bad results the recent years. So many good entries and they keep failing. Although i must say that their performances were mediocre to say the least. I mean, the 2013 one was a mess while this year’s entry was strong but the performance was weird, too dark and looked empty on stage. Why only 2 dancers? Also, Mei was kinda shouting…

I don’t see Morocco coming back, i mean do u expect conservative muslim nations showing lesbian kisses, transsexual/drag queens and boobies on national TV?

Pastora Soler haha
Guest
Pastora Soler haha

I understand Israel, the results are very unfair with them every year.

I hope this serve to think about it, the juries could be more professionals…

It’s a pity, but what would you do if you were them??

Erin
Guest
Erin

@Marcelo – Ata achla Gever and I plead no contest 🙂 the IBA should shut down in March 2015, but many say now that this is unrealistic . Even if does happen in March, there is an uninterrupted transitional phase which is supposed to ensure continuity. The new governing body emerging after this process is finalized will consist of former IBA employees and new recruits. I was just suggesting a possible scenario which could avoid a likely withdrawal at 2015, but the final decision will be probably made around the EBU deadline set at mid-November. Knowing that the ESC is… Read more »

Nitzan
Guest
Nitzan

I don’t see Israel withdrawing, and if indeed it happens it will only be for one year. Maybe the selection will be given to a commercial channel, not a bad thing as for itself. ESC is a global stage Israel can’t afford to lose. I can’t see why some people are glad countries like Lebanon and Morocco “will be given a chance” to participate if Israel doesn’t. They have this chance every year. I personally would LOVE to have countries like Lebanon in ESC, especially if they send songs like their fab 2005 non-entry. Moreover, if Lebanon or Morocco participate,… Read more »

it is me!
Guest
it is me!

It’s funny and so sad that people are hoping for the Arab countries to join. If you take The case of Lebanon in 2005 as an example: Lebanon wanted to participate but could not assure that it will show the Israeli song without interruptions, not to mention allow its public to vote for it. (I wonder what the jury would have done) Israel, on the other hand, did not make such threats. proving again that its neighbors aren’t willing to accept its existence. And so Israel send the Amazing Shiri Maimon to compete, Leaving Lebanon out of the contest. The… Read more »

Deven O'Kearney
Guest

Hi Easpag

Yeah thanks for your support. I had English Higher Level Paper 1 and 2 today. It went really well for me. 😛 I really hope I am happy with my results in September. I have Irish paper 1 and 2 higher level tomorrow. Which is good because I am excellent at languages in fairness.

CrimeaIsRussiaNotUkraine
Guest
CrimeaIsRussiaNotUkraine

Israel your outa here!

Davve
Guest
Davve

Mei was not bad.. but not good either during the semi. her performance was forgettable!

so if israel decides to drop out perhaps we will see other countries which normally would not compete …to make a try

Melissa J
Guest

As much as I loved this year’s entry, realistically a year off for Israel could bring some interesting competition into the contest from countries who otherwise can’t compete. I would miss Israel, but if four or five other countries step in to take their place, is that such a bad thing?

Marcelo N
Guest

(hating my clumsy typing) As I was saying:
@ Erin – You wrote some sense into this. BTW was it not you that “announced” WEEKS ago that the IBA days were counted? I remember discussing it with someone, and I’m pretty sure it was you. If you can get some first-hand info that’d do us all good (my friends in Tel Aviv have nothing to do whatsoever with showbiz, nor do they know anyone within the IBA).
Anyhow, “I’m a little verklempt right now… talk amongst yourselves.” 😉

Marcelo N
Guest

@ Erin – You wrote some sense into this. BTW was it not you that “announced” WEEKS ago that the IBA days were counted? I remember discussing it with someone, and I

GianlucaTomoe
Guest
GianlucaTomoe

Gary, what did the Head of the Israeli Delegation and the Assistant tell you? Let us know 😉

Gary
Guest
Gary

I would suggest you contact the Head of the Israeli Delegation and the Assistant – and they tell a different story on Israel’s future in the contest – like I did 3 weeks ago #JustSaying

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

Jordan has it right. Mei didn’t make it to the final because she wasn’t good enough to make it to the final. This is not the Eurovision Strut Contest.

It fascinates me how, for certain painfully mediocre acts, Eurovision fans can get SO worked up and out of sync with the rest of the world. (Tooji anyone?)

I hope Israel doesn’t drop out. But I also hope they don’t turn into UK – sending an uncompetitive song every year and then blaming politics when it doesn’t do well.

Mikko Suhonen
Guest
Mikko Suhonen

Bad results is such a non sporty and dumm reason to withdraw from Eurovision. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. People vote what they want, and they cannot pleade everyone. Take part, have fun, enjoy the success or just enjoy and try again next year.

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

This whole argument wrecks my head. We’ll just have to wait and see.

And good luck Deven 🙂

William Lee Adams
Admin

@Charles: Actually, we did cry for both Croatia and Bulgaria. The Croatia story is even called, “Tears for Croatia….”: http://wiwibloggs.com/2013/09/21/croatia-former-participants-react-withdrawal/32001/

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Why does every mention of a potential withdrawal of Israel have to drag Morocco into it? There is no connection between the two and the people who want to construct one are the ones destroying the contest by politicization. Morocco should join and Israel should also continue to participate. That people in Israel are calling for a withdrawal really enrages me, because it is so incredibly damaging to Israel. Do you know what the biggest public relations problem for Israel in Europe is today? It is not antisemitism any more, it is to be forgotten! Having an entry in the… Read more »

Huh
Guest
Huh

I am still disappointed by the fact that the camera men did an ugly job in capturing much of the stage than Mei. Her strut walk was zoomed out too much then the camera men took a view of that large LCD at the background along with the audiences (cliche-ic). Also, I think that not a lot of Europeans voted for her since she is well known to have that raspy (yet beautiful) voice. But it doesn’t mean that it sucked!

Deven O'Kearney
Guest

If Israel withdraws that leaves the door open for Tunisia, Lebanon and Iraq to take part. Gotta go. Junior cert now.

Darren
Guest
Darren

I wish Israel withdraws and ESC will be full with Moroccan, Lebanese, Egyptian and Tunisian songs, then you will truly have an Arab contest as you well deserve. You thought Israel wasn’t Europe, wait till you get this. ESC has become a political ugly contest and not a song or any art contest. I have made my choice already and withdrew.

Dhani
Guest

shut the fuck up stupid charles

Erin
Guest
Erin

There are 6 Arab countries whose broadcasters are members of the EBU: Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Now, do you honestly believe they will jump at the first opportunity to participate just because Israel may be absent in 2015?? Don’t you find it hypocritical that any of them would even consider participating when they had a chance to do so since the 1960’s and 1970’s even when Israel didn’t participate (1984, 1997)? Don’t you realize that the ESC is incompatible with their official lack of tolerance to sexual preferences, sexual freedom and any form of displaying them in… Read more »

Tziki
Guest
Tziki

I’d rather have Israel participating than several Middle Eastern countries. They will bring a lot of problems (and probably cheating) with them.
I’m sure Moran Mazor’s dress was one the reasons she didn’t qualify. It looked horrible and her and distracted people from her great singing.
This year I was suprised and disappointed the juries put Mei Finegold in last place. She deserved better.

Elisa Long
Guest
Elisa Long

Not surprised this was bound to happen. However, despite my want of seeing some variety next year with a possible return of Morocco and debited of Lebanon and Tunisia, I fear that given its religion and Conchita’s win they may be reluctant to do so out of fear.

Marcelo N
Guest

I was ready to pick up the mic and make a speech, but I thought twice instead. I guess I’m done crying over Mei’s NQ -and I can always enjoy her in all her fullness and awesomeness *outside* the ESC.
It would be good indeed to have (real) Middle-Eastern sound (not the occasional gimmick) in the ESC. Granted. I’m doubtful, though, whether I’d personally endorse more and more less-than-democratic countries/states/regimes taking part. Just thinking out loud.
Whatch’all think on that? #alleyes

Alex
Guest
Alex

I feel like every year we get some story about Israel thinking about withdrawing, and hypothesizing about the return of Morocco and the debut of Lebanon… it’s getting old already.

Jordan
Guest
Jordan

With all due respect to Mei, but her Semi-Final performance was pretty awful. The stage performance itself wasn’t very well-choreographed and her vocals made her sound like a frog. In my opinion, “Same Heart” is a great song, but they had the opportunity to blow everyone out of the water with their stage performance — but they didn’t. Take a look at the split votes between the televoters and the jury… the results speak for themselves. You fanboys keep arguing that there was an injustice to Israel not qualifying, but the reality is that she sucked. Deal with it.

Charles
Guest
Charles

What’s the big deal if Israel withdraws for a year or two … what matters is that great music is present at Eurovision regardless the country … Nobody cried for Croatia or Bulgaria this year … so who cares …

Robyn Gallagher
Guest
Robyn Gallagher

There are a number of North African countries who are members of the EBU but choose not to participate in Eurovision because of political tensions with Israel. It’s thought that if Israel were to withdraw, these countries might reconsider their involvement with Eurovision.

Chris
Guest
Chris

The IBA is wasting its money in even participating, indeed due to the political tensions in the Middle East. No-one votes for a pariah. Let’s have a fabulous Middle-Eastern beat from Lebanon instead, for that country too must surely be an EBU member…!

Dhani
Guest

noooo!!! i want Israel there!! I can’t imagine a eurovision song contest without Israel…….. :'(

ISRAEL deserved to qualify in 2011,2012,2013 and of course 2014!!

i was so shocked that Mei didn’t go through!!! And that her awesome song and fantastic stage presentation did worse than the Lithuanian crap for exampe…..

Miksi
Guest

They MUST withdraw.Europeans have to know what are they doing.Israel sent 2 PERFECTIONS in last 2 years and yet didn’t qualify.This should be lesson for Europe,award good songs!

beccaboo1212
Guest

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!! 🙁

Darren
Guest
Darren

Although politically, Israel may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but when they have an awesome song, they should be allowed to qualify, such as this year, 2014. Israel had their strongest song ever yet the rubbish from Belarus and the boring Malta managed to qualify. People are saying its politically motivated because of what is happening in the Middle East, but personally, I think Russia should be more of a hated eurovision country, if people want to get political. Israel have every right to be disappointed and if I was head of delegation there, I would withdraw. Israel could… Read more »