Member of Knesset Michael Oren, who also serves as a Deputy Minister in the Office of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyahu, has said that Jerusalem does not have the facilities necessary to host Eurovision and that Tel Aviv is the most likely host city.

Mr Oren made the remarks in an interview with Television Malta (TVM) during an official visit to the island nation last week. He was there to discuss increasing trade and tourism between the countries, whose relationship is growing closer.

Referring to the problem of potentially hosting Eurovision in Jerusalem, whose status is disputed internationally and in diplomatic practice, Mr Oren said:

To the best of my knowledge, and this is  constantly changing, Jerusalem doesn’t have the facilities necessary for Eurovision so it may have to be held in Tel Aviv anyway, which would solve the whole problem.

It’s an important announcement: Mr Oren is known to be close to PM Netanyahu and it is unlikely that he would make such a statement without grounds for it.

Curiously, Jerusalem is currently one of the two front-runners — along with Tel Aviv — as it does have the right facilities to host. The Jerusalem Arena, aka “Pais”, is a covered venue with sufficient seating, and the city boasts plenty of hotel rooms, as required by the EBU hosting rules.

Of course, there are some big problems with Jerusalem serving as host city. As we’ve reported previously, members of the Ultra Orthodox community have demanded that officials avoid rehearsals during Shabbat, which lasts from Friday evening until Saturday evening — a demand that would interfere with the grand final jury show.

Somehow Mr Oren didn’t mention these problems, perhaps to avoid admitting that the real issue is a political one — and not a matter of facilities. This may allow Tel Aviv to be perceived as a legitimate host city by the Israeli public, where the majority prefers Jerusalem to host.

Eurovision 2019: Host city security deposit

In the meantime, the thriller regarding Israel as a host country doesn’t stop for a moment.

Last week KAN — the public broadcaster — warned that Israel was at risk of losing the right to host the Eurovision Song Contest if it failed to pay a €12 million ($14 million) security deposit within five days.

On Sunday the Israeli finance ministry and KAN held a teleconference and a compromise is now being discussed. It was suggested that the state will provide a guarantee to KAN for the security required. KAN is considering this offer and we will update you as soon as we can regarding any developments.

Read more Israel Eurovision news

 

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Good luck
Guest
Good luck

I just hope Israel will decide to spend money on interval acts, not on 4 presenters like Portugal.

opus1612
Guest
opus1612

Guess what?At this point they don’t even have the money for the show LOL

Blanc
Guest
Blanc

I do not care where it is located in Israel , I just want Sara de Blue to qualify and represent Austria.

Dami Im Cosita
Guest
Dami Im Cosita

The contest will definitely take place in Tel Aviv, obviously. A lot of people know it’s gonna happen there.

David
Guest
David

That man is such a joker. Jerusalem houses the greatest arena in Israel but he’s questioning “facilities”. Talk about funny!

Shlomi Arbeytman
Guest
Shlomi Arbeytman

He’s not idea what he talking about, Jerusalem have the biggest arena in Israel with 15,000 capacity for concerts.

Ana
Guest
Ana

Yeah, in a ring configuration which is irrelevant for ESC. Stop throwing this number in the air like you know what you’re talking about.

Shlomi Arbeytman
Guest
Shlomi Arbeytman

I’m know better than you, the Eurovision will be in Jerusalem

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

I don’t think so. Even with the smaller venue, almost everyone agree Tel Aviv is the front runner.

Shlomi Arbeytman
Guest
Shlomi Arbeytman

Who is ‘everyone’? the liberal leftist media? the EBU will decide where the Eurovision will be

TLV
Guest
TLV

Everyone with all these different names are you Mr Netanel Maccabi

EDWARD
Guest
EDWARD

Eurovision 2001, 2011, 2012 and 2013 were all hosted in similarly shaped stadiums depending on where the green room is and how large the stage is, Pais could hold maybe even 20000 as seating would be placed in the central reserve usually used as a pitch.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

I just want a few things to have a “great ESC”
– An awesome looking venue
– A finale with 26 good songs
– A record number of entries

ESC fan from US
Guest
ESC fan from US

Well, Kazakhstan and Kosovo may debut this year, who knows!

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Kosovo will definitely debut but Liechtenstein, New Zealand, and Kazakhstan are unlikely to join Eurovision anytime soon. Wish they could too 🙁

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I think it’s it more likely that Kazakhstan will join earlier than Kosovo…

Aloha
Guest
Aloha

You do realize Israel does not recognize Kosovo, right?

Katy
Guest
Katy

Just announce it’s Tel Aviv so we can move on with our lives and start the NF season…

sevzch
Guest
sevzch

Israelis need Drama for attention and intrest let us do our thing and belive me this is going to be one of the best ESC in years!

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

I really believe that but it would be very hard to beat Portugal’s classy and excellent show.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Portugal did an excellent job, and – as with every previous broadcaster – gave tips to Kan about how to handle it this year. This show is such an excellent opportunity to show a lot of the world how beautiful Israel is, how much there is to see and do there and how much history there is for so many people and religions. I hope they follow Portugal and Austria’s leads and have the artists explore Israel for the postcards.