03:10 GMT15 April 2021
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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev has said that he believes Israel should completely rule out hosting the Eurovision song contest if the organizers refuse to hold it in Jerusalem.

    "I will recommend to the government that the Eurovision — if it cannot be in Jerusalem — we should not host it at all," Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev told the Kan radio broadcaster.

    According to Regev, it would be wrong for Israel to spend $14 million to organize the contest if there was no possibility to show the capital of Jerusalem to the whole world and properly market the country.

    Earlier in the day, media reported, citing sources familiar with this issue, that members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) made clear to their counterparts in Israel, tasked with producing the event, that the location for the contest should not be "divisive," referring to the disputed city of Jerusalem.

    According to the EBU, the "goal is to avoid countries boycotting the location of the event," as quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth.

    READ MORE: Italian Dep. PM Backs Israel As Argentina Scraps Game in Jerusalem Amid Threats

    On May 12, the Israeli contestant on Eurovision, Netta Barzilai, won the competition. However, the initiative of Israeli politicians to hold Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Jerusalem was met with opposition in several countries, including Iceland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, where political forces and the general public had called for a boycott.

    A number of political parties, in particular, in Sweden and the United Kingdom, urged for a boycott of the event in the light of Israel's human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. In Iceland, over 25,000 people signed a petition demanding that the contest is held elsewhere.

    READ MORE: From Israel to Ukraine: The Backstage of Eurovision Political Scandals

    Israel seized then Jordan-controlled East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. In 1980, the Israeli parliament adopted the Jerusalem Law proclaiming the entire city Israel’s undivided capital.

    The international community does not recognize the annexation and believes the status of Jerusalem should be agreed with the Palestinians, who claim its eastern part as the capital of their future state.

    Meanwhile, the US transferred its embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem in May.


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    contest, Eurovision, European Broadcasting Union, Netta Barzilai, Israel, Argentina, Jerusalem
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