In the three days since Netta’s Eurovision victory, government officials in Israel have made clear their intention to host the 2019 edition of the contest in Jerusalem. It’s a controversial choice — and one that will produce countless headlines in the weeks and months ahead. But beyond the question of where to host Eurovision, there’s now the controversial matter of when.
Jerusalem is the heart of Israel’s Orthodox Jewish population, who strictly observe their traditions and religious laws. According to Jewish religious law, Shabbat — the holy sabbath — is observed from just before sunset on Friday evening until Saturday night. The Saturday evening broadcast of the show, which will start at 22:00 local time, won’t conflict with this. However, the Friday evening jury show and Saturday afternoon rehearsals would.
Appeal by Haredi Minister Litzman
Yaakov Litzman — leader of the ultra-Orthodox party Agudat Yisrael, and Israel’s Deputy Minister of Health — made no delay in requesting that the contest’s coordinators plan carefully. On Monday, he drafted a letter to the Ministers of Tourism, Communications, and Culture and Sports, in which he demanded that the event not violate religious laws.
He wrote: “In the name of hundreds of thousands of citizens, Jews from all populations and sectors, for whom keeping the Sabbath is important to them, I am asking you at this early stage, before any production or other details of the event have been set, to make sure this doesn’t undercut the holiness of the Sabbath and to work in every way to prevent Sabbath desecration….”
Litzman has a valid point about the status quo of religious and state matters. Typically, Israeli government bodies do not engage in activities that violate the Sabbath, although some exceptions are granted. It is still unclear whether Eurovision will be one of these exceptions.
Preliminary response from the EBU
The EBU has so far been accommodating toward this issue of religious conflict. The Chairman of the EBU’s Eurovision committee, Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling, is well aware of the tension, and has plans to address it when he arrives in Israel on Thursday.
Freiling’s only words of caution concern who is truly in charge of the contest and its logistics. In truth, no matter which country is hosting the event, the main logistical decisions must be made between the EBU and the local broadcasting corporation, not the government. Only Eurovision’s board of directors can officially approve changes to the standard schedule.
Previous editions in Jerusalem: how did they do it?
This religious conflict is not anything new, and echoes the last edition of the contest that was held in Jerusalem, back in 1999. What’s changed for the better is the ample time that Litzman has provided for preparation.
In 1999, when Jerusalem was hosting the contest following Dana International’s victory, ultra-Orthodox opposition to the designated schedule was sudden, and more importantly, too late. In the words of Araleh Goldfinger, a producer that year, the broadcasting corporation viewed the religious opposition as a “national crisis.”
In the end, that crisis was averted by having no rehearsals or backup footage filmed on the Friday night or Saturday day of the contest (although stage preparations still carried on).
With two semi-finals and nearly twice as many participating countries as in 1999, though, a similar solution would likely not work in 2019. The Friday and Saturday rehearsals and jury show might be considered too important to the contest’s success to forego them altogether.
A silver lining
Apart from the Friday night and Saturday day logistical conflicts, there is no question that the standard time for the Grand Final will be accepted.
Luckily, Israel is two time zones ahead of much of Europe, making it likely that the final will take place around 10:00 P.M. local time, long after the conclusion of the Sabbath. So we can at least still count on the next winner being crowned on a Saturday night.
This is exactly why RELIGION and GOVERNMENT should be kept separate. No religion in the world should have this much power to influence anyone or anything, Sadly this is not the case.
Easy solution: JUST HOST IT IN TEL AVIV. You avoid a lot of this drama.
And if that doesn’t satisfy them, should the EBU give Nicosia or Linz a call to be prepared, just in case they’re forced to move the contest? Saturday wasn’t a problem the last 2 times Israel hosted the contest. Has the EBU ever considered a Sunday Grand Final, in ANY country?
Wait, you move a contest from one religious groups sabbath, the another religious groups sabbath?
Sunday night Grand Finals wouldn’t get half the viewing audience as a Saturday night – and for all those that host ESC parties at home – forget it on a Sunday night!
I learn something new every day. And I’m in agreement that Sunday would not make a difference. To appease one group at the expense of another, then to flip it around and appease the other group at the expense of the first, would just simply mean that the contest would never be held because no one is satisfied with the arrangement…
So, if the argument over when to hold the final shows signs of getting uglier, this time they might have to consider moving it. That’s where Cyprus, Austria, Germany and/or maybe Italy come in.
Most of Israel is secular anyway, if these nuts don’t want to work on Saturdays no one’s forcing them.
Never thought I would read desecration and eurovision both in the same sentence.
Religious fanatics yuck I just want to party!
This should be a non issue. Of course you dont move an event because of holy days.
Of course. Yeah, don’t accept and accommodate when it comes to religious diversity. Only for the diversity of sexuality right? Pff.. hypocrites
Religion is personal matter and not a public one, at least in my country. What does the ESC have to do with religious and sexual diversity other than you can promote it via songs and fans.
The deep-rooted patriotism of Israelis is strong.
Even if I will miss out catchy pop songs and party anthems I won’t be going.
Eurovision is about unity not time for your divisive politics. Tel Aviv is the cultural capital but yet Israeli PM shoving Jerusalem down our throats. Eurovision is not your Toy.
Exactly what you said.
Dana international to host please.
Also, please sign the petition below and if you could show it on social media as well it will be greatly appreciated.
YES YES YES
LOVE this year’s Eurovision
Anyone knows when the tickets will be available online to Jerusalem please?
This Eurovision will be the best. For the first time a lot of countries already confirmed their participation. Israel is the capital of party and LGBT+
And of course nothing like a little polemic in the mix :))
a “little” polemic is about LED drama mate
Attention hogs gonna hog.
This person is the minister of health??!
Wow Talk about mixing religion with politics. So much drama is going to be fun for EBU
When one person is delusional, he’s called insane. When many people share the same delusions, they’re called religious. Delusions should not interfere with a schedule every other Eurovision host country was obliged to follow. Enough said.
Its funny how some celebrate diversity only when its suits their agenda. So what, Religious diversity we dont accept and accomodate. But diversity of sexuality we accept and celebrate and wave flags about? Double standards.
Seriously? The vast majority of the acts are non Jewish and those who were never had a problem with the schedule. This is a non-issue. After all, Christian Democrats in other countries didn’t complain about people having to work on Sundays during the event.
Israel is not in Europe.
Bring Eurovision to Europe pleaseeeee
Bring MSN Messenger back!!
oh dear oh dear oh dear!
Get rid of Cyprus, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan et all too then? Lets HALF the contest cos Paloma is about to cry!
Unfortunately Since the the design change of the Wiwibloggs site ,
The comment section has become completely cancerous.
It’s not the design, it’s the content.
it always was cancerous – it’s just clearer now!
i want to congratulate israel for win but i am very upset because cyprus lost maybe only chance to win this contest ever.. i dont know how or when they will have a chance like that
Every time they send in a decent song
I’m sorry but already 2 problems
It’s not normal
Change the host country
Israel should politely refuse to host if they had any class or interest other then telling the world how great they are and how they have the right to party while they are massacring people. In Europe, when a terrorist attack happens we show some respect, we don’t party like nothing hasn’t happen, your attitude is very arrogant, insensitive and shallow
Seriously? You shot terrorists that want to break down your border and kill children in their sleep. Wondering what would you do with such terrorists that would like to slaughter your daughter?
We don’t party after a terrorist attack. Respect for humans
LOL LOL AND LOL
Since when LGBT family and Euro fans worry about people that discriminate them and want them dead?
I love Israel. I love Tel Aviv. I love Jerusalem.
I want peace too, but let’s not forget centuries ago, Israel agreed in sharing Jerusalem with the Arabs. Unfortunately Arabs always wanted to fight and didn’t agree with anything. Today Jerusalem is a holy place where 3 religions live together only because of Israel.
Totally agree. I enjoy eating at McDonalds but I wouldn’t award them a gourmet food award.
This contest is just a career suicide for any decent artist, no wonder why so many countries don’t send their top talent
the demo of toy is out.
I can’t find it on youtube…
Eleni should have won!
They’re both very good songs. I feel both won, they got to a very high place. Netta’s was more creative and new. I’m sure both will have a very strong career!
Cheap and completely foreign production? No thank you. Listen to that on your free time.
It has not even been a week since netta won and there has already been a massacre and a load of drama, Eleni should have won
Isalmic Terrorists tried to break into Israel with bombs. Wondering what you would suggest doing to such people if extremists would plan to bomb your hometown and kill your kids. Eleni is a great friend of Netta and Israel and her song is trending in Israeli charts. Peace and love to all!
Sticks, burning tires and stones against military personnel. :/
Ok so when I thought only the political issues were going to form an issue now this happens.
It hasn’t been a week since Netta’s victory and already 2 problems have arised.
Is this a joke?
There’s no drama and no problems whatsoever, this blog is trying to get some more clicks. See you in IL in 2019!
We LOVE polemic :)) This year’s Eurovision is the best.
speak for yourself and the other butthurt israelis.
Relax folks! Israel is more than capable of doing a good job.
These issues will be resolved quickly.
If the show is in Tel Aviv, problems will be smaller, because there people are less religious, more secular. But ignoring Sabbath in Jerusalem, that’s very hard. In some (smaller) towns around Jerusalem, primarily inhabited by Orthodox Jews (Haredim), when the sun sets on Friday they even put huge concrete blocks in the middle of the streets, to enforce their ban on driving on the more secular people. In Jerusalem, being a big city and the capital, that probably doesn’t happen, but on the other hand religious passions are much higher. If the show goes to Jerusalem, I predict rampant… Read more »
I thought Israeli people were classy and modern, but your behavior in this forum is so full of hate. Really opened my eyes. Religious drama now, what else is next?
I agree. It’s all the pink washing in the media.
Israel is not a good country, I hope that their show will be a huge failure. Occupants.
An armenian talking about occupation. LMAO!
Go and learn history before writing something dear Tom.
I know everything I need to know dear Anya. When I look at the world map I see that territory as a part of Azer, but none azerbaijani can visit that place (at least alive), because Armenian armed forces are inside. That’s what occupation is. So you can teach your history lessons to your fellow armenians, dear. You’re the last one who can call Israel an occupant.
What a hypocrite! You know your country occupied Karabakh, don’t you??
BREAKING NEWS. Over five thousand Icelanders sign petition to boycott Eurovision Song Contest 2019
You never send good songs anyway, i’ll gladly sign!!
Iceland 2nd place in Jerusalem 1999, 2nd place in 2009 in Moscow. 2019 another 2nd place for Iceland or maybe third time is lucky .
I think as many countries as possible should boycott the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
Less countries is less participation meaning less acts meany greater chance of winning????
EBU don t alow that request. And situation in Israel especially in Jerusalem is not good. Move contest to Cyprus or some BIG 5 country. EBU want Ukraine to win and we had similar circus in organization, now want to Israel win.
Israel hosted the eurovision twice already in Jerusalem and these were terrific. It will be one of the best ones i’m sure, knowing israelis!
1999 was terrible. It sounded and looked like a high school production. It broght the ESC back to the late seventies – only worst.
Well people always criticize the winner no matter who it is. If Israel won people would say that she is “a obese chicken who can’t song a proper song” but if Cyprus wins people would say that she is a “cheap and fake Beyonce who sings trashy pop songs” And seeing someone say that Eleni is disappointed with 2nd because she thought she would win, I was like wtf are you actually that arrogant thinking she would fake herself in front of the camera? She previously stated that her dream is to compete in ESC and now she already accomplished… Read more »
Peace and love! You’re so right.
Ugh why do People fight over Israel and Cyprus? People call one the f”fat chicken” and the other “trashy Beyonce cover”.
Both Songs were great, both Songs deserved to win and both Songs were liked by Juries and the Public. In the end Israel won and Cyprus came second… so what … that’s a great result for both countries and both can be proud.
Also Netta and Eleni show only love and Support for each other so why can’t the fans do the same?
Well, it’s the same story every year. People who are unhappy with the winner start praising the song which got 2nd or 3rd place.. I also liked both Cyprus and Israel, I’m glad one of them won. :p
That’s so true. I’m from Israel and I actually liked Eleni better haha.. I feel like both won. I’m sure Eleni will do great in the charts! I’m def. gonna buy her CDs.
We need Tel Aviv!
Jerusalem is like 10 minutes from Tel Aviv… Israel is a tiny country 🙂 It’s the capital, so i’m sure they want it there.
Tel Aviv ain’t got a venue, dude.
Who is that?
Well, that’s his loss.
lol, im from israel and let me tell you that hes so dumb
dont take this guy seriously lol
He got to be deputy minister, so, even if he’s dumb (and I’m sure he is), he must also be influential. If things don’t go his way he may (will?) mobilise his mob and things can turn ugly.
MFW someone not from Israel tries to tell someone from Israel whether or not to take an Israeli politician seriously.
This is probably going to be the most controversial host country in Eurovision ever. Ukraine comes second.
I don’t think it will be. I think it will be a great show actually because they know how to produce these big specatles seeing youtube videos. I’m very excited!
They can do eurovision in any city in their country, its fine, but fed up of all the trouble. Eurovision has always been in May same week. It fits us all but one .
The problem for that Orthdox dork is not if the show is in April or May, or which week. His problem is the *week day*, specifically Sabbath. There is Sabbath once a week, so no matter what month or week you choose, if the Jury show is Friday night and the last rehearsals are Saturday morning/afternoon, then they’ll coincide with that week’s Sabbath and you’ll have problem with those guys. The only solution I can see would be semis Monday and Wednesday night, Jury show Thursday night, last rehearsals until Friday afternoon (before sunset), then basically 24 h off, until… Read more »
Other than the ones in March and April you mean?
Don’t go just making up history. Because there are people on the internet who actually know it.
3 days after Israel’s victory and the drama has already started. Good luck ebu, you will need it.
A request is hardly drama. Making it a headline is a dramatic move. How about an article about Netta’s victory party last night? Or how the Fuego-singer and Netta have been sending love back and forth on twitter? Or maybe an article about how the Hebrew translation of Toy is for some reason listed on official charts as an individual song, and not combined with the title Toy. She is on every chart twice because of this, and it’s confusing. Both titles are the same song but have different numbers. They should be combined, as she is #5 on World-Wide… Read more »
i am not only talking about the request. Israel wants to host the contest on Jerusalem and we all know what happens and how many are killed. Whether you agree or not, safety is a problem for next year.
I was in Israel in 1998. Everything was calm after the 1994 Oslo Accords. I even went by car from Jerusalem to Jericho (an Arab town in the West Bank).
But that was before Ariel Sharon’s famous 2000 “visit” to the Al Aqsa mosque / Temple mount which sparked violent riots, before 9/11, before all this mess we’ve been living since the 21st century begun. The mood and political will in 2018/2019 is totally different from that of 1998/1999. It’s sad but it’s also an undeniable fact.
The drama has NOT started. Just because someone demands something it’s not a drama because every person on planet Earth may demand whatever he/she wants just to make headlines.
And this is another reason why Eurovision should be hosted in Tel Aviv! Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital but it’s too religious and I honestly don’t believe that Jerusalem has the infrastructure to cope with such a large event. “Freiling’s only words of caution concern who is truly in charge of the contest and its logistics. In truth, no matter which country is hosting the event, the main logistical decisions must be made between the EBU and the local broadcasting corporation, not the government. Only Eurovision’s board of directors can officially approve changes to the standard schedule” – This is… Read more »
Arabs don’t pose that great threat, because the Israeli security forces will violently crack on them…
The real threat is those Ultra-Orthodox Jews, who have an influence that goes way beyond their numbers, and who are much harder to control because the Israeli security forces will defer to them, specially in a city with such religious significance.
Best case scenario: all Eurofans prepare to be ugly harassed and verbally abused.
Well, religious coservatives of any kind often demand all kinds of things… so who cares?
You’re clearly 100% ignorant of the complexities of Israeli politics.
No government can live without the support of religious conservative parties and so their influence is enormous.
on eurovision web site they added ranking for countries that got low
@William Lee Adams Isn’t it high time for a statement about all that is going on on your blogg – the energy has become very hateful and negative.
It’s disgusting. People with so much HATE should not be part of eurovision.
Next year i would like to see the same freedom of speech we have here in Israel.
Freedom of speech and peace.
Lot’s of music without bombs and violence.
In my opinion It’s going to be impossible, but let’s keep the faith.
Terrorists that try to bomb kids in buses should be shot in any country, i’m sorry. I’m from Norway and I don’t see your point. I would want terrorists dead.
Wiwi learnt nothing from Netta’s song. Stop making every little thing any stupid boy says into headlines. Israel is partying since Saturday night. On Monday Tel Aviv hosted a huge welcome home event for Netta and the delegation. Nothing about that. No post contest interview with Netta. Nothing. just fake headlines by fake little man who need to show the world they have the power. There’ll many more idiots to say many negative things about Netta, Israel, and the Eurovision being held in Israel next week. They don’t deserve attention. Netta Does, The ESC fan community does. Focus on what’s… Read more »
It would be interesting to know if you defended Portugal last year when it was being attacked left and right without any justification.
I still can’t see why people will downvote my comment.
If this is the second year in a row they do this, then it’s even worse! They really should learn to stay balanced, even if their favorite didn’t win.
FYI, I didn’t . Yes it is, and it’s really annoying.
You have the right to express your opinion, but perhaps you should think about the tone and the words you use to express it. Because your opinion is not necessarily shared by those who read you, and your words can hurt them, one way or another. Hence the fact that they vote against. (Even though I’ve always found this totally useless / disastrous like / dislike practice, it’s more likely to get people hooked on social networks and forums rather than chatting in a serene debate.)
I think that the EBU is already considering other locations. Mr. Freiling critizised the handling of Eurovision 2017 much more than Jan ole Sand has. I think he will make clear what the terms for Eurovision in Israel are (might be that the EBU will not allow Eurovision in Jerusalem because of safety reasons and the fear of a damn political contest which is already the case today).
Israel always gets some slack, especially from Germany. So don’t expect much criticisim from Mr. Freiling. Also, Mr. Freiling insisted in an open bid to organise this year’s edition, when it was obvious that Lisbon was the only viable option. It will be curious to see if EBU will insist on that now for Israel…
The ebu will always consider other countries to host in case that the country who won cant and it happens every year…. because of the folloing giant events happening in jerusalem lately with tones of fans coming to giroditallia and the fact that israel has already hosted esc in jerusalem twice… the ebu will have no excuse except the political excuse (which i think they wont say)…
The head of Eurovision said he would love the show to be hosted there, don’t worry 🙂
I am wondering about something: did Mr. Litzman have any problem with Netta performing last Friday and Saturday?
He requsted its not a demend.. and you should respect other peopels culture!
I beg your pardon? When did I show disrespect towards other people’s cultures through asking a question?
Gosh give me some popcorn please, this is promising more Drama than Ukraine in 2017. No time for Post Eurovision Depression this year! This drama will go on forbweeks or months.
As an Israeli, born Jewish as well but not religious, those religious people shouldn’t be so annoying all the time
Israel hosted that cycling thing a few days ago on Saturday and no one said anything
If they want to do nothing on Saturday, go ahead, don’t take part in Eurovision, but let others rehearse and work on Saturday
Let the people do what ever they want, freedom!
I strongly hope Israel becomes less religious ASAP
Netta “broke the sabbath” and won – and now the religious leaders want to occupy Eurovision and say that nobody is allowed to practice on a Saturday when they perform in Israel? Yes, less religious please.
She did not perform on Shabbat. And there’s a difference between what people do and what is done and funded by the state
By the time Netta performed it would have been well after sunset in Israel, so it’s fine. We don’t know how Netta feels about religion and that is an internal matter for her.
Both arenas in Jerusalem that are being considered were on purpose built in an area on the other side of the city from the religious area. They host big events and sports and all kinds of things on Shabbat all the time. So one religious guy in parliament doesn’t want it to happen on shabbat. He doesn’t want them to play sports there on shabbat either. People don’t care.
I’d like to see Wiwibloggs write an article about the fat-shaming and online harassement Netta (25) is facing right now. I’d like to see some of the most hateful comments and pictures posted here. I’d like to see Wiwibloggs apologise for supporting this kind of behaviour by publishing an article, where she is called a fat chicken. Of course, I’ll never see that because Cyprus was “supposed” to win.
Let the downvotes commence.
thank you for saying what i’ve been thinking the whole week. This is unacceptable and disgusting of these so-called fans. You’re not a true Eurovision fan if you bring so much HATE into this competition.
Exactly. Fan or no fan, the amount of “fat pig” comments after her victory has been disgusting and I can’t believe people actually get away with this. I’ve had to block several people on Instagram for posting hateful comments and photoshopped pics of Netta to publicly humiliate her.
and most of the fat-shaming and s**t-shaming and downright disgusting misogyny is played out on the WiwiBlogs comments pages – and it’s supposed to be moderated too!!
I’ve not gone through all of them but on her official Instagram-account, there are hundreds, if not thousands of hateful and shaming comments. I really hope for her sake, that she doesn’t read them.
I think wiwibloggs has been very supportive of Netta
I won’t vote you down Toni because I also felt the same about some dreadful comments I also saw against Balkanika. I too have been on the wrong end of some nasty comments from a man/woman saying she/he was from the FYROM. With the rise of social media so the “hate” intensifies. As a veteran follower of the contest I am used to this from outside the Eurovision bubble, but not the places where we go to enjoy the contest. It’s not the fault of wiwibloggs, but they should take note.
Thank you. I agree with you otherwise but I do think Wiwibloggs is somewhat responsible for letting this pass through, and giving a voice to someone who makes shaming comments. What’s worse, is that they publish those comments without ever thinking twice about it. But then at the same time claim people were comment-shaming Salvador, when they just reacted to his mean words about Netta and other entries this year. I am not saying they’re to blame for everything. I’m saying they should at least acknowledge what is happening and make clear that it’s not okay.
Netta over the top performance was going to be a meme fodder and that is why tasteful Europe viewers don’t vote for those campy acts.
It is not the Israeli people’s fault and it is very hurtful for netta, hope she can cope, but if you didn’t see that coming you haven’t been around long.
The show is about to get started….