Deri: Eurovision on Shabbat is OK, open borders are not

Decision on Jerusalem or Tel Aviv as host city likely to be made today.

By
September 5, 2018 19:01
2 minute read.
Shas party leader Arye Deri

Shas party leader Arye Deri. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Interior Minister Arye Deri said on Wednesday that he will regretfully tolerate next year’s Eurovision Song Contest holding activity on Shabbat.

But he said in an interview with Ynet that the demand of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to allow free entry to participants and visitors was more problematic.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The minister said the fact, despite his personal opposition, that “movie theaters, cafés and restaurants – and the Eurovision – operate on Shabbat hurts me as a Jew. But I know where I live.”

Deri also said allowing the competition to go forward – and to operate on Saturday – was not dependent on him. Pushed to elaborate by the interviewer, the minister said it wasn’t fair to compare the Eurovision with the construction of a bridge in Tel Aviv, which was postponed last month after outrage from haredi (ultra-Orthodox) lawmakers about work done on Saturday.

“You can’t compare the bridge to Eurovision,” he said. “I’m not prepared for Shabbat to become a workday and a shopping day in Israel. The people who are hurt are the lowest classes in society, who have to work seven days a week and become servants.”

Deri was reacting in part to reports this week of a letter sent by the EBU to the Israeli government with a list of conditions for next year’s competition. Among the conditions is a requirement to allow and support work on the competition all week long – including Saturday. The list also reportedly calls for the host country to allow entry to all participants and visitors regardless of their political opinions.

The EBU said Tuesday that the missive was “a typical letter we send every year, regardless of country.”

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


But Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Tuesday that he would not tolerate “these ridiculous demands... those who seek to harm [us]: of course Israel won’t allow them in.” Erdan, who has worked in conjunction with Deri to ban Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement supporters from entering Israel, said he hopes “the prime minister will not accept these delusional conditions.”

Deri also expressed concern Wednesday about free entry to visitors and participants in the contest.

“The State of Israel – our doors are open, there are tons of people who come and go,” Deri told Ynet. “But regardless... if there are security reasons, or people who come to incite against the State of Israel or do things that will damage us – I will act like the most enlightened countries in the world [and not allow them in],” the interior minister said. “Have you ever tried to enter the United States? If there’s a problem, they’ll send you right back on a plane.”

The issue over Eurovision activity on Saturday is thought to be a significant factor in the decision on a host city for next year’s competition.

The EBU is slated to announce the host city this week, and is most likely to do so on Thursday. Holding the contest in Tel Aviv is expected to arouse less haredi opposition to activity and rehearsals held on Saturday. Many also believe that holding the competition in Tel Aviv will be less politically divisive than in Jerusalem. However, a range of Israeli politicians have said the contest should and must be held in the country’s capital.

While several locations in Israel were discussed to host the 2019 competition, only Jerusalem and Tel Aviv remain in the running.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

September 22, 2018
PA President Abbas to French leader: 'We can resume negotiations'

By RINA BASSIST