Morocco, the only African country ever to participate in Eurovision, has a rather weak record at the contest. Having only participated once, with Samira Saïd’s “Bitaqat Hob”, it received just seven points, all from Italy.
But hope is brewing that things could change in the coming years. Morocco has established full diplomatic relations with Israel after 72 years — and naturally fans are hoping that may entice them back to the contest. (You’ll remember that they withdrew in 1981 because of Israel’s presence in the contest). Among those fans is KAN’s foreign relations editor Eran Cicurel, who has called on Moroccan broadcaster SNRT to participate once more.
Eran Cicurel calls on Morocco to rejoin Eurovision
KAN’s Eran Cicurel, a reporter and LGBT activist, has invited the North African country to rejoin the contest. His message was short and simple: “Morocco. Peace is Here. Israel and the Eurovision community want you back in the game.”
— ??? ?????? | Eran Cicurel | ????? ??????? (@EranCicurel) December 10, 2020
Morocco’s history at Eurovision
Israel and Morocco’s lack of diplomatic relations has had a great effect on Morocco’s participation in the contest. In 1980, following Israel’s double-win, Israel had to withdraw from the edition, which has held in The Hague. Morocco took the occasion when Israel wasn’t there and debuted at the contest. Then Israel came back to Eurovision in 1981, and Morocco had to withdraw, and it hasn’t rejoined since.
That is no coincidence — the Moroccan broadcaster cited Israel’s presence at the contest as a reason. The same happened with Lebanon in 2005, when Télé Liban had to withdraw three months after the deadline.
Morocco can, however, claim strong connections to recent winners. 2012 winner Loreen and 2018 winner Netta are both of recent Moroccan descent.
Diplomatic ties with Israel established
On Thursday night, the Associated Press (AP) announced the signing of a historic deal. The USA will recognise Western Sahara, while the two Mediterranean nations will make peace for the first time in 72 years.
— Adam International (@adamfoureira) December 11, 2020
Earlier this year the EBU clarified that Morocco are still eligible and that the EBU are in talks with them. We should point out that both Israel and Morocco already participate in other large-scale international events, such as the Olympic Games.
Would you like to see Morocco return to Eurovision? Who should represent them if they take part?