USPA NEWS – Despite calls for boycotts, Israelâ€™s cultural center has been chosen to host next yearâ€™s song contest. Tel Aviv was picked over the contested city of Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as a capital.The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced that Tel Aviv will host next yearâ€™s Eurovision Song Contest.
The Israeli government had originally aimed to hold the worldâ€™s largest live music event in Jerusalem. However, after backlash over the US recognition of Jerusalem as its capital and a subsequent fear of boycotts, that plan was dropped.
Eurovision said it had selected Tel Aviv, Israelâ€™s cultural and commercial epicenter, over Jerusalem and the southern city of Eilat due to its â€œcreative and compelling bid.â€�
â€œEurovision is a perfect fit for our city, which has been internationally acclaimed for its vibrant energy, creative spirit, its lively cultural scene and its celebration of freedom,â€� Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said Thursday. â€œWe are looking forward to host a joyful and nonstop event in the spirit of Tel Aviv.â€�
Israel won this yearâ€™s Eurovision contest in Lisbon with a punchy pop tune entitled â€œToyâ€� by charismatic singer Netta Barzilai. Her victory claimed for Israel the right to host next yearâ€™s contest.
Different sides of the fence
In Europe, capital cities usually host the event. However, the city Israel calls its capital is not recognized as such by most of the international community. Hosting the song competition in Jerusalem could have presented a snag for the public broadcasters that compose the EBU, prompting criticism that they would be taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The BDS group, which stands for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions, has demanded that Eurovision be boycotted altogether if it is held in Israel, in opposition to the Israeli government policies concerning Palestinians.
als/cmk (AP, AFP)
more information: http://https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/13/eurovision-song-contest-2019-to-take-place-in-tel-aviv/
Keywords: Zayad Alshaikhli
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