ISRAEL - Eurovision Song Contest to Be Held in Tel Aviv

Arno Froese

The European Broadcasting Union announced that next year’s competition will be hosted in the coastal city, at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds complex, with the grand finale event to be held on May 18. The two semifinals will be held on May 14 and May 16.

The decision to host the competition in Tel Aviv—and not Jerusalem, the only other finalist—came after months of deliberation and public debate.

The decision was delayed several times. Many speculated that the delay was due to a dispute between the State of Israel and the EBU over demands that all visitors and participants be allowed entry to the country regardless of their political views.

Frank-Dieter Freiling, chairman of the Eurovision song contest reference group, said that “we are expecting to receive guarantees from the prime minister this week in regards to security, access for everyone to attend, freedom of expression and ensuring the non-political nature of the contest. These guarantees are imperative in order for us to move forward with the planning of the event and to uphold the Eurovision Song Contest values of diversity and inclusivity.”

Some experts saw Tel Aviv as a less controversial host city than Jerusalem, with a lower chance of being targeted by boycott efforts. Many also saw the appeal of Tel Aviv as a gay-friendly tourist site, and the potential for holding the city’s Pride Parade to coincide with the competition.

This will be Israel’s third time hosting the competition, but the first in Tel Aviv. The 1979 and 1999 events were both held in Jerusalem.

But politics may not have played the biggest role in the decision to host the competition in Tel Aviv. The Jerusalem Municipality faced pressure from haredi groups to not host the competition, since it would involve rehearsals and events taking place on Shabbat. Even after submitting a bid to host the event, the municipality would not categorically state that it would allow events to take place on Saturday., 13 September 2018

Arno's commentary

What is Eurovision? “The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is the world’s leading alliance of public service media (PSM). We have 119 member organizations in 56 countries in Europe, and an additional 33 Associates in Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas. Our Members operate over 2,000 television, radio and online channels and services, and offer a wealth of content across other platforms. Together they reach an audience of more than one billion people around the world, broadcasting in more than 160 languages. The EBU operates Eurovision and Euroradio services.”

Israeli artists have won the award in 1978, 1979, 1998, and 2018. Tel Aviv is the preferred city, replacing Jerusalem. This, according to the organizers, is the world’s largest media event, and it coincides with the annual gay pride parade in Tel Aviv. Thus, we see again, Israel is fertile ground for the absurd, immoral entertainment industry. We are reminded of the words found in Revelation 11:8: “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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