Yesterday a senior official of Israel’s Sport and Culture Ministry said that Jerusalem is not a lock to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.

And today his colleague — the Sport and Culture Minister Miri Regev — shot back, saying that if Jerusalem doesn’t host the contest then it should be moved to another country.

According to the Times of Israel, Regev told the public broadcaster Kan: “I will recommend to the government that if the Eurovision is not in Jerusalem, then it wouldn’t be right to host it.”

“It will cost Israel NIS 50 million ($14 million) and is designed to market the country,” she said. “So I personally say, if the Eurovision won’t be held in Jerusalem, it’s not right to invest the NIS 50 million in public funds.”

“The state of Israel has a capital, it’s called Jerusalem, and we should not be ashamed of it.”

Haaretz previously reported that Regev — and another minister Ayoub Kara — has ruffled feathers with the European Broadcasting Union.

An unnamed source with the public broadcaster told the newspaper that the EBU felt she was skirting procedure by making public comments about Eurovision 2019 taking place in Jerusalem before official talks had even started.

The source was quoted as saying: “For Regev and Kara to make decisions even before they hear anything about hosting the Eurovision is not acceptable as far as the EBU people are concerned.”

Her latest comments come after the Argentine football team decided to cancel an exhibition appearance in Israel after receiving “threats and provocations” from Palestinian groups.

That pressure came after the match was moved from Haifa to Jerusalem, whose status is disputed politically and in diplomatic practice.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has subsequently suggested that other cultural events may be under threat.

“I hope this will not affect other areas,” he said while in the UK. “We must prepare for the possibility that all kinds of pressure will be exerted.”

Regev has come under fire for her handling of the Argentine football incident.

What do you think of Regev’s “Jerusalem or nothing” attitude? Do you think that Tel Aviv would be a better host city? Sound off down below!

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GeeTee
Guest
GeeTee

Ugh. Miri Regev is a joke.

So Much Noise
Guest
So Much Noise

Let’s make it clear once and for all (as an Israeli): 1. Miri Regev is a troll 2. Contest should not be politicized: not by boycotts/BDS/people who think they figured out this 100 years dispute etc. nor by the Israeli government 3. All these talks pushing or undermining Jerusalem don’t help no-one 4. A number of venues (from different cities) should be considered when the best one wins and host, based on PROFFESIONAL, NON POLITICAL criteria 5. Jerusalem SHOULD NOT be the only option just cause it’s the capital, or cause someone wants to make a point 6. Jerusalem SHOULD… Read more »

Stan
Guest
Stan

It’s been in Jerusalem twice, so I don’t see why it suddenly becomes a problem. The situation is basically unchanged for a long time anyway…. Eurovision won’t solve the complicated cluster that politics created in the middle east! I hope Israel invites his neighbours to enter as well. I’d love to see Jordan and Lebanon finally compete!

Matan
Guest
Matan

The thing is that there is no political dispute about west jerusalem (where the eurovision will be taking place in if jerusalem is chosen), the only people that have a problem with west jerusalem being the capital of israel are the same people who neglect the right of israel to exist at all. If the ebu chooses to veto jerusalem out of the pool of cities they will be making an anti – israeli political move which will be very shameul especially due to their claim that the esc is an apolitical event.

LLilah
Guest
LLilah

Agree with you.
I dont think “kan” should agree in case of veto of Jerusalem.

Hada
Guest
Hada

The gift that keeps on giving.

Israel is not just one city, it’s a whole country. Let other cities run fair and square for their chance at hosting.

Vladimir P.
Guest
Vladimir P.

It would be cool to have Eurovision in Haifa. It has been held twice in Jerusalem, so it would be nice if Haifa got the opportunity this time.

Ulises
Guest
Ulises

You’re a big big I D I O T

Joe
Guest
Joe

We have a bigger potential crisis to worry about: apparently, Dustin the Turkey wants to represent the UK next year.

Eurovision Stan
Guest
Eurovision Stan

The UK will host the national selection anyways, he can apply for that but I don’t think they would let him through to the final 6

Neil Fulcher
Guest
Neil Fulcher

I still think the biggest “stumbling block” to Israel let alone Jerusalem hosting next year’s contest will be Shabbat and the extent to which it has to be observed.

Darth Thulhu
Guest
Darth Thulhu

Wasn’t a problem in 1979 or in 1999, and Jerusalem was, by far, the most religious part of the country in both of those years. Ultra-Orthodox will protest and complain, exactly as they did then, and the governmental operation of the event will ignore the protests and complaints, exactly as they did then.

Danny
Guest
Danny

They didn’t ignore it. In 1999 the rehearsals stopped during the shabbat and the broadcast went on with no dress rehearsal that took place on that day. Today, when you have the jury final and much more dress rehearsals, this trick will not work.

willchrisiam
Guest
willchrisiam

It’s really sad to see so many countries having ministries of Sport AND Culture. As if culture hasn’t gotten so much overlooked that it’s becoming extinct. It’s probably so that they could say they invest in coulture when in fact all the money goes into sports. In a decade or two it’s gonna be a “Ministry of Sport and Pop culture”.

jdplatt
Guest
jdplatt

This frustrates me. Israel has more than just Jerusalem on the table as an option. There’s also Haifa, Beersheba, and Petah Tikva. While I really think the 2019 contest should’ve been held in Tel Aviv, I think that, if Israel and IPBC want to be successful, just pick another city and forego the headaches that considering the contest in Jerusalem is having. These comments are like Sweden saying that if the contest isn’t in Stockholm, there’s no point. It’s like the UK saying that if it’s not in London, there’s no point. There is a point; Netta won ESC 2018… Read more »

Danny
Guest
Danny

Petach Tikva? Are you mad? I’m not sure if there’s even one hotel in that ugly city, not even talking about indoor arenas.

Vítor Jardim
Guest
Vítor Jardim

So let’s have a Nicosia 2019 or Lisbon 2019 then. Far from the dramas. 😀

Darth Thulhu
Guest
Darth Thulhu

Learn some geography. Baku is multiple country-lengths EAST of the Bosphorus Strait.

LILIA
Guest
LILIA

well said!
Israel 2019 here we come 🙂 the best Eurovision ever!

LILIA
Guest
LILIA
LILIA
Guest
LILIA
KARl
Guest
KARl

Easy: don’t let this disgustingly corrupt country host

Danny
Guest
Danny

Lila, at nishmaat yoter metumtemet mi Regev. Tistemi bevakasha lemaan kulam, ve titni le Israelim im moah lehagiv

Izhar Levy
Member

Lila you make me tired. And please don’t speak on behalf of Israelis as I do not agree with your irritating comments nor do you represent my views as Israeli and Jewish.

Erik
Guest
Erik

Regev’s statement reveals that it is a pure political issue to insist onJerusalem.

Nitz
Guest
Nitz

she makes it political with pointless and unnecesary comments. she has no idea what she’s talking about and she just makes noise. that’s what she always does. jerusalem can host, as it did twice in the past and it doesn’t have to be political. that’s why i say our politicians need to back the hell away from this

123
Guest
123

then don’t host at all…stop butchering and stop politicizing this competition already!

ADd
Guest
ADd

Did you? Or did the bottle simply run out?

minu
Guest
minu

This whole contest is so fishy i can’t! The juries must be abolished! It’s more corrupted than ever!

Maldric
Guest
Maldric

its not the right to host….when you win Eurovision you´re invited to host

Izhar Levy
Member

Wow.. can’t belive ppl can be so ignorant and racist even though it’s 2018. You’re literally accusing us of buying a victory?! You need a therapy to deal with all this anger mate.

Doctor Who
Guest
Doctor Who

LLilah, disagreeing with Israeli politics isn’t antisemitic. Just as disagreeing with Iranian politics isn’t islamophobic. Throwing the ‘antisemitic’ insult every time you want to gain the upper hand is childish and tiring.

Also, you should learn how to spell the word seeing as you use it so often.

LILIA
Guest
LILIA

So funny!
HAHA
Is this Irish humor? bad
Let’s see you spell in Hebrew and then we’ll really laugh.

Izhar Levy
Member

I’m Israeli and I hope that Jlem WOULD NOT host. Not only because it is in dispute but also because it’s a conservative city that is not suitable to host such event. Also it has hosted Eurovision twice in the past and now it’s another city’s turn

Yonit
Guest
Yonit

In your dreams dude…
Eurovision 2019 will be in Israel..and most likely in Jerusalem..So keep dreaming..

Alon I srael
Guest
Alon I srael

when the songs of eurovision 2019 will start to appear this israel issue will be forgotten and all the hate will be toward the song, the preformers and the country they are representing…

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

(From Israel)
Germany, UK, please, one of you, as Jon Ola Sand says, “take it away”.
As much as I want to watch it live from the arena, I don’t want this drama and hate…

Yonit
Guest
Yonit

Roy Moreno…BDS love pepole like you!
Why should Israel give up hosting ?? We won ! Its our right to host it in our capital…as an Israeli i will not apoligize about it..as nor France will not apolagize hosting in paris or U.K.will not apolagize hosting in london..mind you!

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

But I don’t love them 🙂
You think about Israel, Jerusalem, in a more political way when I only think about the Eurovision Song Contest and how we can make it with less drama and less hate :\
It is our right, that’s correct, but as long as people are going to be stubborn about hosting in Jerusalem, then I’d just like that to go to Germany or the UK.
I do believe Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, be sure about it.
However, Eurovision and Jerusalem don’t go well together… Due to so many reasons and aspects.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

A) Yes, Eurovision took place in Jerusalem, that is correct, in 1979 and 1999. 2019’s contest is way bigger and way more different than back then. B) There were so many problems with religious people that they pretended they weren’t rehearsing, that’s real nonsense if you ask me… C) Shira Banki was murdered in Jerusalem because someone thought she was lesbian (not that it’d be fine if she really were). Eurovision has a lot of LGBTQ+ fans, do you really think it’s safe for them to come to Jerusalem to such an event? You too, like Yonit, are too political… Read more »

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Definitely safer than Jerusalem, which is full of homophobic people 🙂
The Eurovision wasn’t that full of gay people back in 1979 and 1999, so there was no need to feel too safe, only safe from terror attacks.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

As for today, there are way more homophobic people in Jerusalem than Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv also has great night life.

LILIA
Guest
LILIA

JIMMI FACE NO THANKS

Ferry
Guest
Ferry

Never forget that back in 1999 there were 1,500 people on the arena, whereas in 2019 there’d be 30,000. The other two times the contest has been held in Israel are no way in hell comparable to 2019.
Besides, if the contest shall be politicised because of Jerusalem I think you should consider hosting it within another city and if that’s not an option then give the opportunity to host it to another country.

Doctor Who
Guest
Doctor Who

LLilah, the EBU will dictate where Israel hosts the contest.

Svi5280
Guest
Svi5280

What a mess. All of the drama has been coming from Israelis in power so far. It’s all become such a political game. I’m not Judging all of Israel by the words of a select few but it’s all just become so ugly so quickly. I really wanted to go to Eurovision in Tel Aviv but at this rate I would not complain if the contest is elsewhere because there’s enough proof that there’s a toxic situation to deal with otherwise.

LILIA
Guest
LILIA

I’m not a fan of Miri regev but she has a point.. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the State of Israel, the Israeli Supreme Court is located in Jerusalem, the President’s Residence is in Jerusalem, all government offices are in Jerusalem, the United States THE largest power in the world Embassy is in Jerusalem , and other embassies of countries such as Guatemala, Paraguay, Costa Rica … And the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania want to transfer their embassy to Jerusalem, No one will decide for Israel where the eurovision will take place. AND for all of you ..It… Read more »

Ola Sand
Guest
Ola Sand

honey, it’s the ebu that decides not your government

James
Guest
James

The host broadcaster and the EBU are both responsible in awarding which city is fit to host.

Ferry
Guest
Ferry

1) Bear in mind that the POTUS happens to be Donald Trump so I don’t know whether using him as an argument is a good idea.
2) Actually is the EBU who decides where the contest is hosted.

Matan
Guest
Matan

The ebu decides, but there is no reason whatsoever to veto jerusalem aside from anti semitism and bending to the pressure of the bds movement.

Mark
Guest
Mark

This is why it was the most controversial winner of all time. I said it during the final and I’ll say it now. It was the only time I have ever turned the TV off during the winner’s reprise.

Nitz
Guest
Nitz

that’s your problem than

Mark
Guest
Mark

Just take the contest out of Israel already.

DAVID
Guest
DAVID

I’m an israeli, i do think that Tel Aviv is more suitable to host due to the orthodox/ shabat factor. However, and it’s a big however not hosting in Jerusalem will perceive as an acknowledgment that Jerusalem is not our rightful capital, as if that’s even a question, as if there is even the slightest doubt which nation has built the city. Because so meny refuse to officialy recognise the obvious, choosing different city will mean shameful defeat after jerusalem was the only city not mention at the last eurovision while giving the points and amid the boycot discussions. Hosting… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

Plenty of countries have capital cities that aren’t the ‘spiritual capital of their nation. Australia, Canada, United States, Brazil etc,

Sam
Guest
Sam

Just because it is the de facto capital of Israel doesn’t mean you need to constantly shove it down other people’s throats. It wouldn’t have been an issue if right wing Israeli politicians hadn’t overstepped their authority and made reckless declarations that crossed the line and ambushed the contest for their own short term gains and political expediency. Your last sentence sounds like a pouting child. It’s your way or the highway for the rest of us…give me a break: you have no reasonable leg to stand on.

A guy
Guest
A guy

That «not hosting in Jerusalem will perceive as an acknowledgment that Jerusalem is not our rightful capital» isn’t correct. Eurovision doesn’t need to be in the capital city. In 2011 it was in Dusseldorf, in 2013 in Malmö, and if I go further, 1993, 1986, 2004. were cases where Eurovision wasn’t hosted in the capital of the country.

James
Guest
James

Jerusalem has hosted the contest twice before so whether or not it gets to host should not be this big of a huge deal.

Vanilla
Guest
Vanilla

I loved Netta and her “toy” but I knew that Israel winning the contest would bring the ugliest of the political games to Eurovision since Moscow 2009. Not even Baku 2012 or Kiev 2017 were that bad. The comments on this page are horrendous as well, the task of organising the contest is the responsibility of the EBU in collaboration with the TV broadcaster, not the government of the country asked to host. Politicians should not give their public opinions and put any pressure on what they want/expect to be. The EBU better stick to their guns and refuse to… Read more »

James
Guest
James

In the end, the city with the best to offer to the EBU will win it all, that is if there are interested local government units who want to be in contention for the job.

Marty Mc
Guest
Marty Mc

My advice to the organisers is to stick to the music, this minister is politicising the whole contest even at this early stage. Very sad , unwelcoming situation. I wish Political Minsiters would stay out of the contest. They are ruining it. Politics has no place in the contest, and the EBU needs to make this clear to all countries participating, including the host nation. Everyone want’s to see another good show next year and I am sure Israeli KAN Tv will do a great job, whether it is in Jersusalem or Tel Aviv. It’s a song contest after all.… Read more »

Darth Thulhu
Guest
Darth Thulhu

The one hope in all of this is that Miri Regev’s repeated impertinence and incompetence will result in her getting fired from her job and replaced by someone more capable of letting KAN and the EBU do their jobs in a professional manner.

Marty Mc
Guest
Marty Mc

let’s hope KAN and the EBU are the only ones ending up organising this. Miri Regev needs to stay out of it.

James
Guest
James

She clearly doesn’t understand how the process of hosting Eurovision works. All interested cities has to bid and give the best offer to the EBU before they can decide on which of these would host. Has any previous contest ever been hosted in the same city more than twice in the past? And yes, Israel’s capital is Jerusalem, but with the way she’s speaking I’m getting the gist she doesn’t know that the contest has been hosted there twice so yeah, they’ve been there done that. Marketing-wise, it’ll be interesting how KAN will advertise the city for modern Eurovision if… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

Dublin’s got ’71, ’81, ’88, ’94, ’95, and ’97. Stockholm hosted in ’75, ’00, and ’16. Luxembourg City was for ’62, ’66, ’73, and ’84. London hosted in ’60, ’63, ’68, and ’77. Copenhagen hosted in ’64, ’01, and ’14.

Boycott Jerusalem 2019
Guest
Boycott Jerusalem 2019

This is getting messy.

NoGeoblocks
Guest
NoGeoblocks

So… Where do you wanna see Eurovision 2019?

beccaboo1212
Guest

Arena Kombëtare in Tirana, Albania! 😀 If the contest is held in Albania, I bet Eugent Bushpepa could be the interval act! 😀 Arena Kombëtare will need a roof, by the way. 😉

Joe
Guest
Joe

Albania would only host if the entire top ten were to turn down the opportunity to host.

Tom
Guest
Tom

When handing over the trophy to Loreen in 2012, Nikki shouted: See you next year in Stockholm! So we all know that it was in Malmö the next year, so Netta screaming Jerusalem should not be considered an issue for having it in Tel Aviv

Oscillate
Guest
Oscillate

These officials are making things difficult instead of finding reasonable solutions.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

If they want jerusalem so badly why don’t they choose the best venue right now and move on with it? Why create this unneeded politcial drama around the decision and keeping things in the blue.

Sly
Guest
Sly

Hey! Stupid girl, ESC is not your toy.

Nate
Guest
Nate

Soooo where are we moving? Cyprus I suppose?

If it’s Jerusalem or nothing, you should get nothing. No place for politics

Bouke
Guest
Bouke

I guess some people in Israel want to make a political statement by hosting Eurovision in Jerusalem, as it is not recognized by most countries as Israel’s official capital. In the way to show the world: “Look, we think Jerusalem is our capital”, so I think no one can actually deny hosting in Jerusalem isn’t politically motivated. If it wasn’t about politics, hosting in any other city in Israel would be ok for the government, but now some people apparently are saying it should be in Jerusalem and if that isn’t possible, then Israel must refuse to host in Israel.… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Completely agree with Tedi as below. This woman and Netanyahou are politicising the event before it even happens. Israel should host the contest in Tel Aviv or Haifa….or indeed as she puts it…not at all…!

Tedi
Guest
Tedi

Then don’t host at all. This is music content and it shouldn’t be impacted by Israel’s politics. That said, ISRAEL STOP BULLYING. Eurovision in Jerusalem is totally unacceptable. We all know what’s behind that.

Nitz
Guest
Nitz

Regev likes to make so much noise and i’m over her, she really crossing a line there. she is a minister of culture who cares so little about culture, this is rediculous. right now, the more likely options in my opinion are that it would be held in jerusalem and everything will be fine or it will be held in a different city in israel and everything will be fine. either way, our politicians need to back the hell out of this. i’m telling you, if the esc won’t be held in israel because of this i’m gonna riot, i’m… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

On an unrelated, and sadder, note, Teddy Johnson – one half of the duo that represented the UK in 1959 – passed away today. Theirs was not a great song, but a guilty pleasure and a lot of fun. The UK’s first (of fifteen!) runner-up entries.

ANA
Guest
ANA

Miri Regev likes to make noise, but she has no authority to make any decisions

Joe
Guest
Joe

Also: who says a capital is the one and only choice for a Eurovision? Germany’s hosted three contests and none of them were in Berlin, three of Sweden’s six hosting gigs weren’t in Stockholm (one in Gothenburg, two in Malmo), Turkey hosted in Istanbul, Netherlands only hosted in Amsterdam once and the rest were either in Hilversum or The Hague, the UK’s hosted in a bunch of places other than London (Edinburgh, Brighton, Harrogate, and Birmingham), Norway first hosted in Bergen as opposed to Oslo, Italy’s first was in Naples, neither of Switzerland’s hosting gigs were in Bern (one in… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

I get that people are used to the capital playing host, as has been the case since 2014, but it’s been out of the capital cities twice this decade alone (Dusseldorf 2011 and Malmo 2013), so Haifa or Tel Aviv shouldn’t be that big of a stretch. And Tel Aviv is also the most Eurovision-friendly city in Israel I can think of, as many have pointed out, due to the Israel Calling concerts.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Should still be in Israel, but I think this is the umpteenth red flag that Jerusalem may not be the right choice, at least for this year. They’re the rightful winners and have earned the right to host, but too many things have been going on in Jerusalem for it to remain the one and only possibility for a host venue. They mustn’t be so stubborn. Shame, too – Pais Arena would’ve been perfect, but on top of the recent bevy of political controversies, the home basketball team have refused to abdicate should Israel want to host it there. And… Read more »

Escphbelgium
Guest
Escphbelgium

Hosting the contest in Haifa won’t cause the end of the world. Calm thine tits, Miri.

Escphbelgium
Guest
Escphbelgium

Haifa has enough accommodations for press, fans, delegation, and artist and the Baha’i HQ offers the best view of the Mediterranean. I think the airport won’t be an issue.
Also, Sammy Ofer Stadium might have a roof if it we’re selected.

Your Sister
Guest
Your Sister

“Jerusalem is the capital, and we should not be ashamed of it…” you have no shame lady? Occupying another country and kill it’s citizens and thereafter call THEIR capital your own. SHAME ON YOU. SHAME ON ISRAEL. This state does NOT deserve to be in Eurovision and does not deserve to HOST a beautiful contest while innocent children are being killed. MOVE eurovision to another country, I’d say Cyprus or Austria.

Hbh
Guest
Hbh

What a pity.
The EU voted for Israel. Deal with it

James
Guest
James

HBH, not every Eurovision country who voted for Israel to win are members of the EU.

Nitz
Guest
Nitz

why don’t you get your facts checked and then come back, ok?