Eurovision bosses have sparked outrage after reportedly telling Israel they should hold next year’s contest away from Jerusalem – describing it as a “divisive location.”
Competition rules state it is hosted by the winner the following year, in a city of their choice, however, comments from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have thrown next years contest into chaos.
Despite EBU officials saying the contest is “a long running non-political entertainment event”, they have reportedly told Israel that next year’s competition should be held in a “not divisive location.”
In a meeting with Israel’s state broadcaster, EBU officials reportedly said they were worried countries would boycott the event if it were held in Jerusalem.
Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev hit out at the comments, saying that she will recommend to the Government that “if it can’t be in Jerusalem – we shouldn’t host it.”
Regev said it would be “wrong” to spend ₪50 Million (£10.4m) of public funds into such a ‘politicised’ event.
“The State of Israel’s capital is Jerusalem and we should not be ashamed of it.”
On Monday, the government said it would leave the decision as to where to host the contest to the country’s public broadcaster, Kan.
The TImes of Israel reports Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn’t want to jeopardise the country’s chance of hosting the contest by insisting it is hosted in Jerusalem.
It is believed that Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Eilat will all bid to host the contest.
The competition has previously been held in ‘controversial’ locations such as Kiev in Ukraine and Baku in Azerbaijan, without being boycotted by the so-called ‘international community’.