Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev says that Israel should withdraw as host of the Eurovision song contest if it is not held in Jerusalem. “I will recommend to the government that if the Eurovision is not in Jerusalem, then it wouldn’t be right to host it,” she said. “It will cost Israel NIS 50 million and is designed to market the country. So I personally say if the Eurovision won’t be held in Jerusalem, it’s not right to invest the NIS 50 million in public funds.”
Israel won the 2018 contest with “Toy” by Netta Barzilai, earning them the right to host the following year’s contest. Both Barzilai and Regev said the competition would be held in Jerusalem. Jerusalem, however, is not recognized by all countries as Israel’s capital.
Regev’s statement was made after Argentina’s national soccer team canceled a match in Jerusalem over pressure and intimidation from pro-Palestinian groups. Regev had moved the scheduled match from Haifa to Jerusalem, which opponents claimed politicized the event.
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