Israel will compete in the second-semi final on 12 May in order to avoid a clash with Israel’s Memorial Day on 10 May, reports newspaper Israel HaYom. Since July there has been speculation around Israel’s participation in Eurovision 2016 due to a potential clash with the semi-finals and the very important national holiday, but it seems a solution has been found.
Israel HaYom reports that the EBU has agreed to the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s (IBA) request that Israel participate in the second semi-final as the Yom Hazikaron holiday will be observed on the 10th.
Memorial Day is a serious observation for Israel and in the past the country has withdrawn from Eurovision when the holiday has clashed with the competition. In 1980, despite winning the previous year, Israel declined to participate as Memorial Day commemorations started the day after the final, and in 1984 they also withdrew from the competition after a similar clash of dates.
Memorial Day 2016 starts at sunset on May 10 and ends at sunset on May 11 – directly clashing with the first semi-final on the evening of May 10. But the observations will be well over by the time the second semi-final starts on the 12th.
The golden formula
Israel will again use television series HaKokhav HaBa (The next star) to choose its singer for 2016. The 15-episode talent show will be used to select the singer, with the song chosen by internal selection.
This is the same method used this year, with Nadav Guedj’s “Golden Boy” finally breaking Israel’s four years of non-qualification and giving the country its first top 10 finish since 2008.