After Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest last May, much attention was drawn to the regional climate and political nature surrounding the new host nation — which is hosting the contest for the first time in twenty years.

Although Eurovision Rule 2.6 does state the contest is to remain a ‘non-political event’, we saw several European singers sign an open letter boycotting the event, as well as instances of protests in the French and Spanish national selection shows in recent weeks.

According to Channel 12 in Israel, the European Broadcasting Union has responded by sending a special letter to all national delegations participating in Eurovision in Tel Aviv. It lists precautions and sets out measures participants and broadcasters can follow should they face difficulty for participating in the contest this year.

The letter is no doubt in response to recent events seen in France’s national selection. In semi-final two of Destination Eurovision, a protester invaded the stage with a message directed towards the Eurovision 2019 host nation.

Certain Destination Eurovision participants, including winner Bilal Hassani and third-placed Chimène Badi, also received criticism regarding their participation, including protests from those involved in the BDS Movement.

Badi spoke of those involved in the protest movements, saying:

“I believe that this is a minority of people and that they get confused and that they do not understand the matter.”

To ensure further protection, the EBU are asking for more thorough security during the contest in Tel Aviv. KAN, the Israeli broadcaster in charge of hosting the contest, have also stated that security is a top priority and there will be no compromises regarding that issue. According to the report above by Channel 2, they are expected to ask for government assistance with the costs of security to ensure that the 2019 contest is protected to the highest standards.

It’s not the first time that the focus of this year’s contest has shifted toward politics, boycotts and the like. Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the contest, reinforced the important non-political nature of the contest back in November.

“We cannot allow politics to interfere. We have been very clear about it since the beginning. The Israeli politicians also understand that any politicisation of the contest will look bad. The best way to introduce Israel to the world is to do Eurovision without any politics involved or any manipulation. People see these things instantly.”

In response to potential boycotts suggested by artists and individuals, Jon Ola Sand expressed his dismay, but also his unwavering support for the non-political nature of the contest. He sought to deter activists who aim to make a political statement.

“We do not want Eurovision to be used as a platform for any political aims. So if there is a fan who is also an activist, we do not think that this is a positive thing. We want people to come to Israel and enjoy – that’s it. There is nothing I can do about people’s perception of Israel. Whatever they think about Israel is their own opinion. However, the EBU is an organisation with clear policies — no politics of any kind is allowed. In fact, no country has announced that it intends to boycott Eurovision, and it is now a fact that Israel will host Eurovision.”

With the contest only months away, a safe and secure contest remains the highest priority – so fans, contestants and delegations can enjoy all that Tel Aviv brings. Love, love, peace, peace!

Read more Israel Eurovision news

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Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

The EBU couldn’t even guarantee the performer’s safety on stage in the past contests. They’ll probably learn a few things from Israel this year, regarding safety precautions. This is not small thing, the EBU totally screwed up repeatedly.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

If there is one truth about music, it is that any human being can participate in it. That’s the admirable ideology behind the ESC and most other international music events. However, there is also the practical element of the contest’s security in Israel. I’m glad that the EBU and KAN are addressing this and are not hiding it. As for protesters at the National Finals, this is sadly to be expected, as it is an opportunity for activists to be seen and heard. However, the reality is that no protest will change the EBU’s mind on the contest’s location; therefore,… Read more »

dygh
Guest
dygh

Blabla whining idiots. Israel will be a great host, just like other countries would. I’m sure the israeli Eurovision fans are heartbroken about the perception of their country because of politics, imagine you in their place. Eurovision is about music and celebrating our differences, outgoing/shy, scandinavian/balkan, muslim/christian, dog-person/cat-person, straight/queer, it’s all just a label. True Eurovision fans don’t care about labels.
For God’s sake we have to wait a whole year to be in a state of complete partymode and some idiots are ruining the only 3 days in a year that matter.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Agree with each and every word, thank you!
(From Israel)
I hate the fact that politics in my country ruin my everyday simple activities, such as Eurovision and even video games.
I’m still waiting for the world to understand we are all people and should not fight…

Joe
Guest
Joe

I just wanna meet Serhat and party, man. I’m in no mood for politics.

dygh
Guest
dygh

Love it

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

…so in more pleasant news, anyone else excited to hear/see the previews for semi-final 1 of melodifestivalen!?

Joe
Guest
Joe

Heck yeah! Let Melfest Madness begin!

James
Guest
James

Israel won fair and square in 2018. They earned the right to host.

Elfi
Guest
Elfi

Eurovision6: just don’t try too much, either if u say the rightest thing on the planet u will be attacked, cause we human being like to pretend…so right now things are the way they are, things are happening the way they are, with killings after killings in those lands, everything is wrong about that, as well it is in other places, but esc will happen is israel i think it will go well, people will have fun there, the show will end, they will return to their lifes…and life goes on. So again, don’t waste your time explaing things that… Read more »

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

I respect that you see it that way but I like talking about controversial issues and am not really faced by downvotes or “mean” comments. Life is hard so you need to take things on the chin. Id rather be attacked for being honest than praised for being fake so its all good. If 200 people see what I write and 199 think im an idiot but 1 actually reads it and tries to learn more, that is a success. My point is that I do not see it as wasted time. Burst them bubbles 🙂

Elfi
Guest
Elfi

Good! 😉 i was being sarcastic, i think u do well…keep that mindset 🙂

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

We saw none of these letters and protests when Russia and Azerbaijan hosted. The anti Israel movement is simply reheated antisemitic fascism.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I doubt security will be a problem in Israel.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Israeli security can’t be beaten. A disgruntled European < guy who knows Krav Maga

Jake
Guest
Jake

I love how people were saying a Star of David stage was too political, like it is on the flag of Israel and is a symbol of the country.

Linoy
Guest
Linoy

We need to free Israel from Islamist terrorisem and from useful idiot like you!
Make Judea ISRAEL Again! Hebrew Lives Matter!

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

What about freeing the Islam states from Zionist terrorism? Oh you do not care about that

Sera
Guest
Sera

Can this guy go? Please?

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

🙁

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Whenever someone mentioned Israel, it is rattle-brainedly associated with politics, just like this one. Israel is the home of the Jews–what do you expect?

OohHoney
Guest
OohHoney

The saddest thing is that because of people’s ignorant views towards Israel it would be less likely that Israel will win again, this year or in 10 years, just because of that it creates an unfair playing field.
At the end of the day it shouldn’t matter if the entry comes from Israel or Russia or any country, this is a song contest and it SHOULD be about the music. But it’s not.

WannaEatMySpaghetti
Guest
WannaEatMySpaghetti

I don’t think it will change something. There was more hate against Russia in 2014 and 2015 but still the country placed well and Sergey won the televote in 2016. People will vote for Israel if the song is good 😉

Conor K
Guest
Conor K

Ignore the hate Israel! We know you rock, beautiful country who will make the best ESC ever 🙂

Honey
Guest
Honey

The real face of BDS

Jakra
Guest
Jakra

I take it you’re not buying your tickets to Tel Aviv, then.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

Lmao

Vol
Guest
Vol

So now I see why you’re here and I was thinking this guy likes nothing about Eurovision then what he’s doing here.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

I love Eurovision (:

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Well, atleast those death threats show off how charming the people are who want to boycott Israel…

Max
Guest
Max

So no streaker this year

Joe
Guest
Joe

They’d rip his nuts off

Ethan1994
Guest
Ethan1994

Well, THIS comments section is going to be fun. I’m sure of it.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

I think so too