Eurovision states in its rules that the contest is a “non-political event”. Yet ever since Israel won the 2018 edition we’ve seen and heard many voices that have called on their nations to boycott the event. Eurovision 2018 winner, Netta, has chosen to speak up. When she was asked about that issue recently, she said that there is a place for a healthy dialogue but that boycotting isn’t the answer.
As a part of Netta’s promotion of her new single “Bassa Sababa”, which has already reached three million views on YouTube since its release on Friday, she has given interviews to both local and international media.
Among the expected questions regarding the song, her message and Eurovision, she was also asked about the BDS movement that is calling to boycott the upcoming contest in Tel Aviv.
Netta looked quite emotional and sincere while speaking about the issue and said:
“When people are boycotting they might go against their own beliefs. I want a dialogue, a healthy one ,here, but boycotting isn’t an answer and Eurovision isn’t the place for politics, it’s a place of coming together and spreading light.”
In another interview she added and said:
“I believe in a protest, it’s ok, I don’t believe in boycotting. Eurovision is a European contest, it’s not Israel, it’s a world-wide thing. We are taking part. I encourage other people to come and take part.”
As we previously reported, the European Broadcasting Union is also dealing with that issue as part of its preparations for the contest and has sent a special letter to all national delegations participating in Eurovision in Tel Aviv. The letter contains precautions and sets out measures participants and broadcasters can follow should they face difficulty for participating in the contest this year.
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
Photo credit: Haaretz
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BREAKING NEWS: Sergey Lazarev will represent Russia again! It was leaked on a TV programming guide for a show held this sunday with “Sergey Lazarev – Eurovision 2019” in the title.
Yayyyyyyyyyy !!!! Sergey returning to take revenge from mans zemerlow and jamala fake wins . Juries fault of course
Not really a surprise at this point…
Quelle surprise. Sochi 2020 then?
Before you write another hate comment or political post on any platform about Eurovision, watch this clip first
Ron, and the Wiwibloggs team!
Please don’t give this ‘boycott’ issue more room on your site. I know Israel makes a big deal out of every little man who threatens to boycott, but the world is not aware of that ridiculous option as much as you think. Boycotters are trying to eliminate the state of Israel, while ignoring all the wrongdoing of the other side. Their activity is not legit. Don’t give them the stage, they do not deserve it.
Let’s ignore these hateful calls, and enjoy Eurovision together!
(i’m daring to dream here…)
In this case, Wiwibloggs were simply reporting what Netta said about the issue. So I can see it both ways. Also, as I have pointed out in the thread below, a boycott is actually the most peaceful and less impactful kind of protest. What if the boycotters all listened to Netta and all bought tickets? Be careful what you wish for.
I for one am glad they are not coming. 🙂
On the subject of Israel: sadly, just as we feared, Shalva Band withdrew.
Oh no… Producers did all they could, but we have to respect Shalva Band’s decision. At least we’ve got to know them. They would have to leave 2 members out anyway…
And in other news: Russia unintentionally confirmed that Sergey Lazarev is indeed making a return (the official reveal is for February 9), INFE Azerbaijan says they’ve picked their participant while the broadcaster’s denied it (some guy from a reality show, I think – sounds promising), and Greece are still being coy about Katerine Duska. Three different countries have basically picked their competitors but they’re sitting on it until the right moment.
Maybe there’s hope that Lazarev has different songwriters this time? Cos usually, Kirkorov can’t stop himself from blabbing about Eurovision and “dream teams”.
Considering all he’s already blabbed, I’d be shocked if he didn’t write it with the stupid Dream Team.
I hear Philip’s involved again.
oh no?? I fear that shefita won’t win and Israel will send a generic female singer with bland ballad song with meaningless high notes..
I agree with her. In this case, boycott is a great waste of time. If you want attention and drama about you it’s worth, but surely if you want peace in both sides you have to do something different, not that easy like spreading hate though, which is to building bridges. That’s super effective
This years contest is political, boycotting it is a counteraction on the propaganda that will take place in may. I am strong enough and have developed a shield against the zionist propaganda but I fear for others. I do hope that as many winners in national selections as possible dare to make a statement on stage against the zionist regime that is in control in Israel and the US.
Lol, “dare to make a statement against the regime”. Suppose they do, what do you think will happen? “Oh they made a statement, come on guys we’re closing the state”. Israelis won’t be surprised if it happens, they’ll look at it with the same pity and contempt as all the other boycott calls, and move on a moment afterwards.
Nah it would not look good for the hosts if all the contestants spoke up. People would try to understand the meaning behind it and so on. It would have a counter impact on people watching.
So what? Israelis are accustomed to all that. If someone gets convinced because of some statement, so be it. It’s the same as people who get convinced by some crap article they read online etc. That’s just how it is. As much as Israelis would like to be empathized and understood, they grew immune to stuff like that.
What makes you think I do not know the meaning of the word?
Why is it that everybody have tried to eliminate them? Is everyone in the world anti-semitic? You like that card right? Calling everyone anti-semitic is so much fun!
I understand the Palestinians, I would not want a group of people coming to my country and starting to opress my people saying they were here first. But hey, I guess that is the self defence you are talking about..
You are talking to yourself now? I didn’t say everybody is antisemitic. Yet it’s a fact that both the christian world and the muslim world have tried to eliminate the jews for ages. The muslim world still does, in particular your beloved palestnans. Even if antisemitism isn’t the accurate term, eventually it amounts to the same characteristics: spreading lies and false accusations about jews, justifying their perish, delegitimizing their right to defend themselves. So basically there isn’t much of a difference, there is always new excuse for ‘criticism’.
So taking the Palestinians land is the jews right to defend themselves? And you pretty much agreed to everyone being anti-semitic. Then you wonder why everybody have tried to eliminate the jews..
The Palestinians are the ones defending themselves. It is their land and they are defending it. Israel is supposed to be the only democratic state in the middle east, yet the country is built and funded on lies and corruption. Keep playing the victim card and call the truth anti-semitic all you want.
Again, what I said is that the exact terminology doesn’t really matter. So you for example aren’t antisemite, you are just advocate of terrorists, denies the jews right for a state, and the right of Israelis to defend their own lives. That’s any better? I won’t start arguing history with you cause that’s clearly redundant and irrelevant. Yet the question remains, what is it that you actually want? You want 9 million people of Israel to evacuate themselves cause you feel like it? Or maybe just the jews, even though you’re not antisemite, ofcourse. The bottom line is simple: there… Read more »
Sadly the media managed to convince people like you with a fabricated and distorted scenario. Murderous terrorists became “innocent protestors”, those who defend their lives and fight terrorism became “aggressors”. As previously said, Israelis know the truth, and they don’t have the privilege of choice, regardless of the delusional outsiders’ opinions.
Off topic: I want to watch Sanremo but it’s probably gonna be past my bed time. Will the performances be uploaded on YouTube right after the show? Will everything be accessible? And does RAI provide a live stream for all the shows that can be accessed anywhere?
There’s a streaming I think on RaiPlay, but only after registration.
And also off topic: Sergey Lazarev confirmed he’s one of the artists considered for Eurovision.
Considered is an interesting term at this stage. The act must have been chosen by now, with the announcement a few days away.
It’s very difficult to find San Remo videos on YouTube. Even ones from years ago. The best thing is to stream it on the RAI website, live or later.
Here is the full playlist of songs: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb_Qew9Dujkjp0hpUgbuYvqvgnL-d07_m
Sorry Netta but politics has the best place in big events like ESC, World Cups in sports etc!
Hate that saying that politics do not belong somewhere, that is ridiculous…politics is everywhere, you can’t get away from it, by just ignoring it makes it politics as well
I agree with you netta but you should add that Eurovision is not the place for someone to buy votes . Come on everyone knows that cyprus won in televoting.
P.s for the guys who are going to attack me . Even big football matches are fixed what makes you think that Eurovision isht fixed. These is any evidence that Israel really took more televoting votes than cyprus ?
Is there any evidence that she didn’t?
Why aren’t my comments posted? I didn’t even say anything offensive.
mine are under moderation too for no apparent reason
Unfortunately this happens from time to time here, some messages get mysteriously filtered and it’s hard to tell why.
That’s why “Next year in Jerusalem!” was the first thing you said right after your victory, my dear…
Hardly political saying the contest will be held in your capital city
It’s entirely political to even proclaim Jerusalem to be their capital, never mind shout it on the big stage. I agree with the OP, my stomach dropped the second she said it.
Just another reason to like her.
Israel, the one country that’s apparently not allowed to choose which one of its cities is its capital >.>
The palestinian claim on jerusalem is ridiculous though. Jerusalem has been the ancient jewish capital since the time the bible was written… Imagine the outrage if a non islamic country would put a claim on the holy city of mecca.
In the end israel is the only country on earth that is 100% save for jews. That’s a harsh fact that many people do not realize or casually tend to ignore. If you walk through amsterdam or any other large dutch city in traditional jewish clothing you’ll certainly get harassed over time.
She didn’t actually proclaim Jerusalem to be their capital, she just assumed that that’s where the contest would be held – considering that was the location the previous two times Israel hosted, it was a reasonable assumption. In any case, she wasn’t being “political”, it is just an everyday fact to her with no hidden agenda attached or intended.
She politicised the contest from the outset by saying the contest would be held in Jerusalem.
No she didn’t. Israel hosted in Jerusalem twice already, so there was no reason to think it would be political to suggest they host it there again
Eurovision is incredibly political, even more so these past few years than ever before. Netta’s Song herself was even inspired by the #MeToo movement.
All these winners won on political grounds.
Maybe if Ireland or UK want to win again, they should enter a song about Brexit. :/
None of those entries had anything to do with politics. Austria gender identity yes….Ukraine the singer’s own familial history yes… but politics? No. I think you need to check a dictionary.
I think you need to start thinking critically and look at the timeline around the time that these songs won. Also the national broadcasters helped send these entries to ESC, they done do politically.
Don’t be completely blind.
You mean three songs that you see as being somewhat political?
What about Euphoria? Amar pelos dois? Heroes? They weren’t even remotely political, as with many others.
You’re over thinking this.
Euphoria, Amar Pelos Dios, Heroes where not political no. But the 3 songs I mentioned previously where. Let’s also not forget the other political incidents that happened recently too.
Azerbaijan/Armenia not voting for each other
2012: Hosts Azerbaijan use disputed Armenian territory in their postcards
2016: Armenian representatives waving the Nagorno Karabakh flag.
2014: Booing Russia
2017: Ukraine banning the Russian entry
Politics takes over in ESC in some form. Not necessarily the winners, but every year there is SOMETHING
I resent the #MeToo movement and Conchita’s act being labeled as “political”. Tax rates are a political issue, agricultural quotas, social welfare rates, public transport etc. – these are political issues. Human rights & dignity are not a “political” issue. You think men should be allowed harass women? You think minorities shouldn’t be afforded equal respect? Of course you do not. There is no valid debate.
Says the one who sang a song with a #metoo stamp on it.
If I’m really honest, I never really got that stamp in the first place. At Eurovision, it was the first time I even heard about it. The song itself didn’t really scream “#MeToo” to me, it was just kind of a general fun empowerment song for women, nothing too political there, it wasn’t until the German commentator introduced the song by saying it “fits well into the current MeToo debate” that I even thought about that.
Then you must be dumb, because she proclaimed before the contest that her song was #MeToo
Absolutely. Although we should remember that she did not want to sing this song at all, in the first place. So the #metoo stuff probably came from the machinery/songwriters behind her.
What is your issue with the #MeToo movement, and please elabotate on how exactly it is “political”. Is your local candidate running on “yes, it’s okay to sexually harass women” platform?
Firat of all. I ONLY stated that #Metoo was political. Not that it’s bad nor good. The question isn’t about if something is right or wrong, whether it be about #Metoo, Russia/Ukraine dispute, refugees, etc. Second. #Metoo is used frequently by polticians and non-poltiticians to further their own agenda: https://www.svt.se/special/partiledarna-om-metoo/ There’s no politician where I live who proclaims that it’s ok to asssult and/or rape women fyi. But on the other hand, take a look at the laws in the Middle East and dare say that again. And while #Metoo did do a lot of great things, it also lead… Read more »
Those who are shouting to boycott, truly don’t know what is going on. Don’t know what is the root of the conflict (religious or and teretory ). Funny, because israel never interfer or boycott any other country.
And those who threat people who come to israel or talking to a jew, are nothing but….well the fingers of all acusstions are pointing at them. Shame. They use the violence , of which they are accusing others.
‘Funny, because israel never interfer or boycott any other country.’
Jack, the Israeli point of the view is VERY different than what others see in the media abroad.
Take the useless u.n. that is boycotting, getting money for that, and does nothing ! ! To any country in the world, which is a well known fact. Same those who boycott israel.
Now here’s a question: how many countries participate in Eurovision that don’t have any kind of current or former human rights issues weighing them down? Bc if you were to boycott every Eurovision participant with at least one really nasty skeleton in or out of their closets, say goodbye to not just Israel, but also the UK, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Romania, Germany, Greece, Ukraine, Austria, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Serbia, the Netherlands, Australia, Belarus, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and lord knows how many others. We’d have to host Eurovision in San Marino (fine by me). I, personally, wouldn’t… Read more »
That’s a list I don’t get at all. Surely, you mean skeletons of the past, right? But those skeletons have been out of the closet for a long time.
By and large, yes.
Then I gotta protest your list. 😛 The present state of affairs are what matters, not what happened ages ago and has been dealt with.
Some of them have very current problems though. Look at Russia.
Yes, but others on your list are angels now.
Would you really call Poland or the UK “angels” now?
There are many more countries on your list. My country is awesome for example. So are The Netherlands.
I’d love to know what sad place those people downvoting this particular comment are from. I can only guess. 😉
Well, the thing is that most Israelis don’t agree there’s a human rights problem, both currently and in the past. So before resorting to the “other states have skeletons too” argument, let’s just mention that. Israelis don’t live their lives according to the fabricated script of the media.
If the only thing counted was the present event, Armenia and Azerbaijan should also be boycotted from participation by the things we have seen until today. Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia should also be boycotted since they have questionable human rights record. There can also be Turkish protests about participation of Cyprus as they’ve mostly, if not always, shown a Greek Cypriot act. But I guess these are just pointless.
don’t forget Russia, who hosted Eurovision months after invading Georgia
Antisemitism is the cause!obviously!
people don’t like seeing other people succeeding….
I love how you people throw out the word “antisemitism” when someone begs to differ every time an Israeli or the Israeli regime is critiqued. Guess what? You’re not immune from critique, nor should you be (re: Israeli regime). This argument is fallacious, trite and tired. Next.
San Marino ain’t saint either! In 2014 San Marino’s mayor had to resign after throwing dog poop onto neighbor’s yard (for real). Now that’s what I call a nasty skeleton.
See Joe! The crimes committed in San Marino are far worse. 😛
Then we hold it on Mars!
Azerbaijan is the only one I would boycott. Israel’s victory has nothing to do with their military activities, whereas Azerbaijan directly used their ill-gotten gains to steal their victory for the sole purpose of self-promotion. They literally hijacked the contest for propaganda. This is not acceptable (at least not to me).
When it comes to the so called ‘conflict’, everything amounts to one word: media. I think no country has ever been inflicted so much by media as Israel. However, Israelis know the truth. They don’t have the ‘privilege’ of having the media telling them what to think. That’s why almost all Israelis are indifferent to the calls of boycott. They know that there’s no real reason for it, and they also know that there’s nothing that can be done differently, even if the whole world boycotts Israel because of the media.
There’s a holier than thou attitude if I ever saw it.
Eurovision is a party, not a political poll
It’s a party but not a political party. 😛
My old history teacher used to say, “Always remember to build bridges, not walls.” I think that’s pretty applicable here. There are a number of countries with questionable governments (I live in one), but I’d never close myself off to the idea of visiting one just bc I know a government doesn’t paint a full picture of the people and culture of a country. A constructive dialogue is the key.
Also, when you isolate a country for the political views and actions of their current administration, you risk reiforcing that particular narrative inside that particular country. Which can end up harming the very people you wanted to help initially. There are no easy solutions, but no solution goes without dialogue. You may push the problem around for a while, but it will come back to haunt you.
Sabrina, it doesn’t have anything to do with the current administration or government. First, because it has always been the same. Second, because every eligible Israeli serves in the army for a few years, so there isn’t any differentiation between the goverment and all Israelis.
I think your government has done some pretty lousy things as of late, whether you’d like to admit it or not. I’ll defend Israel, but it’s hard to defend the government.
Sadly my reply got lost in the filter, Ami. But what I wrote is basically that every country has its share of people that disagree with their government’s actions and that an event like Eurovision is a good opportunity to break stereotypes like this one. Keeping an open dialogue won’t save the world, but it can stop people from adding fuel to some neverending fires.
Joe, again, there isn’t much difference between ‘the government’ and ‘all Israelis’. When you say “the government did so and so”, in practice it means the Israelis who serve in the army, not some foreign organization. Also, Israelis keep electing this government for a decade, and it seems this will also be the case in the next elections. Many Israelis disagree with the government about things like economy or corruption, but almost all Israelis give a full back up and support to the IDF actions.
Okay but Ami, the average Israeli does not control government policies and practices. They just live their life. While I don’t know what they necessarily support in their heads, it is not their place to decide what their country is doing. I do not support the Israeli government because of the decisions they have made, but I have nothing against the Israeli people because they did not make those decisions. I look at Russia, Azerbaijan, Poland, and the United States the same way.
Katariina, the difference between Israel and the states you’ve mentioned is that EVERY eligible Israeli serves in the army for a few years. So whoever blames Israel for apartheid genocide etc actually blames every Israeli person. Needless to say, and yet here I say it, that Israelis don’t commit such acts. Israelis are very patriotic and supportive of their army, simply because each and every one participates in it.
Plus, I wonder since when everyone in the world became an expert about the policies of the Israeli governments. For some reason, people got convinced that something changed during the current leadership. It was always the same, even with the most left-winged parties, for the simple reason that no government has ever compromised Israel’s security.
Tell that to the Israeli regime which has built plenty of walls. Check it out yourself.
These walls reduced the flux of terror attacks and saved countless lives. There’s nothing wrong with walls defending from intruders from the outside. I suppose you live in a house with walls too.
We’re definitely gonna see atleast one national final winner boycott Eurovision. The question is when.
I will still watch Eurovision, but will choose to not televote as a protest.
I’m not going to watch live either, because that implies that I’m ok with it being hosted there too. But not televoting is a good start too! 🙂
when it’s about medicines and inventions you decide to use them? so hypocrite!
Not televoting wouldn’t be much of a protest unless you decide not to vote for Israel.
I doubt it. Boycotters are so full of hate they won’t even go near the National selections. There was a chance in Spain but that was due to OT’s nature but thank god we avoided a tantrum from that spoilt brat María.
Expressing your political opinion makes you spoiled? Shame you’re so closed minded.
“Eurovision isn’t the place for politics” says the person who yelled the name of her country’s highly disputed capital city only recognized as by some extremist regimes after taking the Eurovision trophy. Oh come on, Netta.
Oh, come on. Saying ‘Jerusalem’ was just as similar as saying ‘Stockholm’ or ‘Berlin’ when someone wins Eurovision. Don’t even get me to start stating why.
It’s not. Jerusalem is a city claimed by two nations, while Berlin and Stockholm are only claimed by one.
Wether or not it serves as the capital city of one nation (Israel) or two (which is the other? it’s never been a state…), it is still the only capital city Israel has. And the single and most sacred city for jewish people.
Even if the 7 kingdoms from GoT will claim Jerusalem as it’s capital, for Israelis of all faiths, Jerusalem is the one and only capital city. No matter how many times your anti-jewish movement keep repeating a lie.
Couldn’t say it better.
Politics aside, there is a saying in Hebrew which goes something like “next year in Jerusalem” and it comes from religion, not politics
Netta simply quoted it
I also agree with Loin dici
Yep.. “Next Year in Jerusalem” . We say this sentence has been over 3,800 years. Now try to explain it to non-Jews, Or people who know nothing about Judaism. ?
It might be disputed but to us Israeli jews, Jerusalem is just our capital city, that’s how we look at it so I don’t really see how netta saying it was a political statement, at least in her point of view
We say it at the end of Passover every year.
The western part of the city isn’t controversial, and belongs to Israel according to international standards and agreement. When Eurovision was held in Jerusalem in 1979 and 1999, no one thought of it as a political statement. What changed? The global media and its treatmemt of Israel. That’s all.
Understandable but Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital. Why wouldn’t she shout it? She’s an Israeli after all.
That’s a stretch and you know it.
The winner gets to host the contest the following year and Jerusalem is the capital, Netta assumed it would be held in the capital. It’s not that deep.
Try again, Ben.
It’s the same as people assuming Stockholm would host in 2013.
I admire that Netta is willing to have a discussion, especially when it is clear to me that Jon Ola cannot discuss politics – that is part of his role, and I respect his position. Netta herself must be aware of the human rights questions asked of her country’s forces. There are things that need to change; she knows this. The irony is that a boycott is the kindest and least impactful type of protest… imagine if all of the boycotters bought tickets instead. Be careful what you wish for. That being said, the idea of Netta facing down thousands… Read more »
Why do you decide for Netta her feelings and thoughts? Almost all Israelis think that there’s no appartheid, no racism, and no human rights violation. There’s just Israel fighting terrorism. Israelis think so because almost all Israelis have served in the IDF army for a few years, and that includes Netta. It doesn’t matter how many boycotters will be, you won’t convince Israelis with a fabricated, distorted and fictitious script.
Netta said she wanted “a dialogue”, and a “healthy one” at that. A dialogue is a script of multiple voices. One thing is clear: We all have been educated about events in a different way. But what is “the truth”? What has actually happened? It’s indeed an excellent way to start a dialogue: to question what we know. And then, hopefully, begin to understand.
The whole point of the ESC is to use music as something we all have in common to bring us all together.
Yeah everyone should shut up so you don’t have to hear it, right? sad