Will images of the Western Wall be curbed during Eurovision?

Song contest officials reportedly are seeking to avoid political arguments by refraining from displaying any images of Jewish heritage sites or tourist destinations in the West Bank.

March 28, 2019 10:16
1 minute read.
Will images of the Western Wall be curbed during Eurovision?

Israel's Eurovision contestant Kobi Merimi and the Western Wall in Jerusalem. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/COURTESY)


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Eurovision officials are seeking to curb images from Israel that may offend the sensibilities of European audiences, according to a report in Mako

The Israeli news outlet reported that "yesterday there was a report of resentment created by the decision of the Eurovision Song Contest not to display tourism and heritage sites from Judea and Samaria," referring to the West Bank, the area once controlled by Jordan from 1948 to 1967. This would also include the Western Wall, located in the eastern side of Jerusalem which would be displayed only during the performance of Israel's 2019 contestant Kobi Merimi.
The four-day song contest is scheduled to be broadcast live from Israel starting May 14th after the Israeli contestant Netta Barzilai won last year.

Eurovision officials stated it was purely an artistic decision, and made it clear there was no coercion or guidance from the European Broadcasting Corporation, Mako reported, concerning a plan to display images of tourist sites interspersed between each country's performer. 

"In conversation with a European Broadcasting Corporation official, he confirmed that there was no such directive, but hinted that they apparently wanted to avoid an embarrassing situation," said Mako reporter Ofer Hadad.

Eurovision has been a popular song contest since 1956. This year's contest will feature 52 different countries, mostly from Europe, however countries not technically European participate as well, such as Israel, Morocco, and Turkey.

Israel has won four times: in 1978 with A-Ba-Ni-Bi by Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta; in 1979 with Hallelujah by Gali Atari & Milk and Honey; in 1998 with Diva by Dana International; and in 2018 with Toy by Netta Barzilai.

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