Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU

Last week Israel’s Keshet 12 announced that it would proceed with its Eurovision 2024 selection show “The Next Star.” It had planned to air the first show on Tuesday evening.

But on Tuesday afternoon the broadcaster announced it was postponing the broadcast following the death of two Israeli soldiers during a battle in northern Gaza. 

“In light of the news, The Next Star will not be broadcast tonight. Our hearts go out to the families.”

Producers have faced a great deal of negative publicity since the announcement they would air the show. Many Israelis feel that now is not the time to celebrate as the country mourns its losses and also the loss of thousands of innocent lives in Gaza. Among the protestors we’ve seen outside of Keshet HQ are family members of those kidnapped on October 7. 

Keshet 12 had billed the show as a way to give the public a chance to focus on something else, if only for a moment. As Euromix explained at the time, the hosts Assi Azzar and Rotem Sela appeared in an advert saying the following.

“After many weeks…we feel that the time has come to take a breath and take solace in something a little different. There is no doubt that of all the things in the world, music is the simplest and deepest way to connect and cheer us up, which is why we decided to progress the opening of the season of The Next Star for Eurovision.”

“This will not be a normal season opener. It will be adapted to the situation, but we are sure that a little music can only help. The Next Star for Eurovision begins the journey with small steps, at the end of which we will have an Israeli representative who will show the whole world who we are.”