Every year rumours swirl that Israel will be forced to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest. Sometimes it centers around the supposed collapse of the broadcaster, while in other instances it revolves around date conflicts. Today’s installment of the ever-present question “Will Israel withdraw?!” stems from an NRG article which points out that the Eurovision 2016 dates coincide with Memorial Day — a very important date on Israel’s calendar.

The first semi final, which is scheduled for May 10, falls on the eve of Yom Hazikaron — Israel’s Day of Rememberance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism. Memorial services are attended by Israel’s top leaders and military personnel. This is not a day of celebration, so, as NRG explains, “Israel cannot participate in the first semi-final and cannot transmit it.”

This is solved easily enough. Israel can simply ask the European Broadcasting Union to participate in the second semi final on May 12. Israel and a number of other countries have made such requests successfully in the past.

But there is another kink. The second semi-final dress rehearsal takes place the day before — on May 11, which is Memoral Day itself. This leaves the EBU in a sticky situation, as it would be forced to let Israel skip the dress rehearsal — which is also the jury show for the semi. #headache.

Israel, you’ll remember, withdrew from the 1980 contest because of a similar conflict. And that followed two consecutive wins.

A third issue is the planned dissolution of the IBA in March 2016. The IBA has previouisly said that this would not impact the broadcaster’s committments to the EBU.

What do you think will happen? Could Israel get a ticket direct to the final?

Follow all of our Israel Eurovision news here

43 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mark
Mark
5 years ago

Nicely let them rehearse with first semifinal and let them participate in the second. Or move the dates. I’d move the second semifinal rehearsal on SF 2 morning if that is possible.
One more thing I’d do, unrelated to this, put the voting same like in the final for the semis.

Laocoon
Laocoon
5 years ago

I would hate it, if Israel withdrew and Morocco or/and Lebanon came in only for that reason. This would be an annoying political statement which should get a political response (no votes for Morocco and Lebanon), even if in theory it should be all about music and not politics.

Sal
Sal
5 years ago

I’m sure some arrangement can be made! We can’t let Israel withdraw and open the door to all those Arab countries! What next? ISIS in Eurovision??

Maya G
Maya G
5 years ago

@Melissa J I fail to see the Israeli whining here, and I think your hostility is really unnecessary. Israel already withdrew 3 times, without complaining, when the Eurovision final clashed with the memorial day, as did The Netherlands BTW. Special considerations are often made where it comes to semi allocations, and not only for Israel.

Melissa J
5 years ago

I think this may become a case of Israel once again whining about how “Special” they are and “Why doesn’t the EBU make special considerations for us?” as has happened often in the past. If Israel wants to take a break this year, that’s fine–it shouldn’t be a big deal, it’s their choice. And, on the other hand, it might open the door for some one-time appearances from some other countries a la Morocco.

Melissa Kutcher
Melissa Kutcher
5 years ago

Hopefully SVT and EBU can work out a solution to keep Israel in Eurovision.

europa
europa
5 years ago

couldn’t they have arranged the dates to not clash with this holiday? How many other countries have important days like this?

Chris
Chris
5 years ago

I think they will solve this problem somehow. After this year’s success they will not miss the occassion to maintain their good luck. (To be honest I find this song very cheesy, but it is a matter of taste. They “ruled” the stage, so I am not surprised with the result). Anyway, I am strongly against Robyn’s idea to allow them to participate directly in the final. It would totally unfair and could become a dangerous precedent overused by other countries. I would like only to remind that not only Israel did their best this year, therefore I do not… Read more »

Kjetil
Kjetil
5 years ago

@Mario
Nadav is Benjamin Button

Iberian
Iberian
5 years ago

So here’s another reason why Nadav should have won. Israel could then simply choose other dates to celebrate the 2016 edition and there would be no problem.

Charles
Charles
5 years ago

I remember a time when Israel and some other countries for whatever reason concerning historical national days decided to not participate at Eurovision … in those days no one bothered or even cared … so we did not have them in 1984 .. we had them in 1985 .. and the world moved on smoothly … Though we are living and breathing sometimes to point of madness and lack of control this whole social media fuzziness .. I still ask myself … Is it really a drama if they end up deciding not taking part of the 2016 edition due… Read more »

YoungsterJoey
YoungsterJoey
5 years ago

Bye Israel, hello northern Africa and Lebanon lol…jk jk. Only kidding.

what?
what?
5 years ago

Could Israel get a ticket direct to the final?????? No, of course.. It isn’t right for other countries, althought the problems of Israel..

#MarioVision ~ The So Called *Nadav* Syndrome ;)
#MarioVision ~ The So Called *Nadav* Syndrome ;)
5 years ago

Its really weird that Nadav looks so much older than his actual age 😛 In my high school we had few of my classmates that looked wayyy much older than their actual real age…The so called ‘Nadav syndrome’ 😛 hehe.. There are these rare cases that there are humans that grow multiple times than the real age & the ones that are gettind old with very slow rate.. ~ There are people that look like 29 years old when they are just 14 years old in reality.. And.. ~ There are people that look like 14 years old when they… Read more »

#MarioVision ~ Nadav = The 16 y.o. 'teenager' that looks like a grown up 26 y.o. man instead :P
#MarioVision ~ Nadav = The 16 y.o. 'teenager' that looks like a grown up 26 y.o. man instead :P
5 years ago

Nadavito = The grown up Man that is trapped in a body of a 16 years old teenager 😛 😉 hehe..

#MarioVision
#MarioVision
5 years ago

Well i think that they should make an exception this time & just accept to participate breaking their tradition of memorial day..
Its not really big deal anyway..

With no offense to dear Robyn that wrote that but i don’t agree at all to let them participating directly to the final as direct finalists…It should not be fair for all the other countries that finished also in the top10 this year in Vienna’s Vision..
Israel finished just 9th…What about the rest 6 countries that finished on higher spot place? Excluding the winner host Sweden & Italy that belongs to big5..

Huh
Huh
5 years ago

Strike two for Israel’s conflicting issue about their Memorial Day. EBU should always think about the pivotal holidays of participating countries before setting the provisional dates of the contest.

EF0912
EF0912
5 years ago

Or….
They should perform in the Second Half of SF2s jury rehearsal and then wherever on the actual night of SF2. As for the day dress rehearsal – they could just use SF1s day dress rehearsal. That wouldn’t be bad at all.

EF0912
EF0912
5 years ago

They should perform last in the second semi final with a serious song (kind of like Armenia this year but not as tragic). That way they can rehearse after sundown and it won’t be offensive?? I hope they don’t withdraw – I really liked Mei and Nadav.

Maya G
Maya G
5 years ago

@Robyn I forgot how late the sun sets is in Scandinavia at this time of the year. Anyway, it’s mostly a matter of appearance. the Israeli representatives wouldn’t want to take part in an entertainment event during a national day of mourning because it would seem disrespectful. No one cares if they put their make up on during the memorial day as long as they perform after it ends. It would be a bummer to miss out on the daytime dress rehearsal, and maybe the organizers could find a solution for that, but even if not – missing out on… Read more »

mad-professor
mad-professor
5 years ago

Perhaps a risk but, just for next year, why not move the dates forward by a day? Have the semis on Wednesday and Friday and the final on Sunday. Should make it easier for them to compete in the second semi final.

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
5 years ago

FYI, on 11 May 2016, sunset in Stockholm will start at 9:07pm. The jury rehearsal will start at 9:00pm. So that actually could work, provided it’s acceptable for the Israeli team to be involved with all the hours of pre-show preparation before 9pm.

As for the daytime rehearsal – it would be easy enough for the show’s producers to use stand-in performers, though Israel would miss out on the benefits of participating in that rehearsal. After all, it’s the one big run-through before the jury rehearsal.

Vocror
Vocror
5 years ago

Hi! This is Argentina calling. I think that Israel should participate in second semifinal and voting with 100% televote

Branko
Branko
5 years ago

Why not take part in Semifinal 2 and rehearse on another day maybe?

Maya G
Maya G
5 years ago

Thank you Robyn and tvfan for your kind suggestions to enable Israel’s participation, but it’s really much ado about nothing by a news site desperate to make a headline. In the Hebrew calendar dates change at sundown (unlike the Gregorian calendar where dates change at midnight), which means the memorial day is between May 10th at sundown to May 11th at sundown. The juries’ rehearsal should take place well after May 11th sundown which means the Israeli delegation will have no problem performing. The only dress rehearsal of the 2nd semi that conflicts with the memorial day is the one… Read more »

Mei International
Mei International
5 years ago

Robyn…I love where your heads at 😉
Unfortunately, the typical timing of ESC leaves the high possibility of conflicts with both religious and national holidays in Israel. In the past, the EBU has accommodated Israel (as it has with other countries that have conflicts around that time of the year). I am sure they will figure something out.

Zigg
Zigg
5 years ago

But Robyn it wouldn’t be fair on the other countries participating if Israel were given a ticket to the final. A better solution might be to scrap the jury rehearsal the night before and have it on the same night as the televote. That way there will be less pressure on the contestants

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
5 years ago

Simpel (i think) compete in SF2, and rehearse with SF1.
Can someone also make an articel of SAN MARINO
participainting IN JESC 2015?
Greets from The Netherlands.
I have an anoying little brother.

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
5 years ago

Ajit: In 2011, Memorial Day was on 9 May, while the contest was on 10, 12, 14 May. Because of this, Israel requested that they go in the second semi, meaning the Memorial Day observation didn’t clash with the semi-final rehearsal – which it would have with the first semi.

Zigg
Zigg
5 years ago

The dates are not provisional. They were confirmed when Stockholm had been named the host city

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
5 years ago

Radical solution: because Israel did such a good job this year – not only qualifying but also achieving a top 10 finish – the EBU could give them a bye to the grand final, skipping the semis entirely.

tvfan
tvfan
5 years ago

Maybe, if SVT don’t change/don’t want to change the dates, a idea can be to make the jury rehearsal for semi-final 2 on the 3rd dress rehearsal (planned in the afternoon of May 12, just before the semi-final) instead of the 2nd dress rehearsal (planned May 11 on the evening).

Azaad
Azaad
5 years ago

Well considering that the dates are only provisional, I assume that SVT will change the dates for Israel so that they’ll be like the ones this year- at the end of the month rather than in the middle.

If Israel can’t participate though then Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco would possibly do so…(the latter two aren’t allowed as they won’t broadcast the Israeli performance due to governments not recognising it and Jordan would do the same even though it does sort of recognise Israel).

MirkoJoshua
MirkoJoshua
5 years ago

I think Israel will participate one way or another. They could change the dates or Israel could do the dress rehearsal along with the countries of the first semi even though there would be some issues with jury voting… really complicated stuff

Laocoon
Laocoon
5 years ago

Please, can we just get Nadav back for 2016?

davve
davve
5 years ago

Israel will have to withdraw then…I guess.

Graph
Graph
5 years ago

If I were Israel, I would still participate but internally select a more serious song.

Maxim
Maxim
5 years ago

I understand this is a though situation so I googled the official holidays in Israel. On the site that I found only the 12th of May is indicated as an official holiday. I do understand that competing in the first semi final is difficult cause IBA have to broadcast the semi final too. But it wouldn’t be fair to allocate Israel directly in the final. I think IBA and EBU should talk about this situation

Sal
Sal
5 years ago

@Zigg – I didn’t see that Israel had asked to change the dates of competition – only that they will be allowed to participate in 2nd Semi, and if worst came to worse, that it would withdraw.

as for the dates, @Ajit, memorial day goes by hebrew calendar, not gregorian calendar (the calendar you know) and dates on the 2 calendar meet only every 19 years, so the dates in 2011 are not the same as thos in 2016.

Ajit
Ajit
5 years ago

But aren’t the dates of the 2016 contest exactly the same as the 2011 contest, which Israel participated in without problem?

Zigg
Zigg
5 years ago

Israel will either have to participate in the second semi final and accept that they will have to perform on the jury dress rehearsal or withdraw. It will not be fair for the EBU and SVT to change the entire Eurovision dates when some fans have booked hotels and is also completely unfair for the other competing entries. Sorry

Leaf
Leaf
5 years ago

They should make a third semi final in which only Israel performs and they win it and qualify.

Hanner McSinny/Calvin
5 years ago

Oh no I guess they’ll have to move Eurovision to the following week when I don’t have exams 😉