Security chief blasts Eurovision's 'galling' demands on Israel

Israel's Public Security Minister pushes back on Eurovision's 'disgraceful' demands on Israel as conditions for hosting music contest.

Hezki Baruch,

Neta Barzilai at 2018 Eurovision
Neta Barzilai at 2018 Eurovision

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) blasted the European Broadcasting Union over its list of demands on Israel for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, tentatively set to be held in Israel.

“This is a complete disgrace,” Erdan told Army Radio Tuesday morning.

“I don’t know how they had the gall to make these kinds of demands. I hope that the Prime Minister won’t accept these outrageous conditions.”

Erdan said that while it was acceptable to require that Israel not to interfere with the contest for political reasons, Israel must be able to screen out potential security threats and retain the ability to bar anti-Israel activists from entering the country.

“It is legitimate to demand that there be no political interference in the running of the show, but to demand that anyone who comes to perform be allowed in, even if they violate the country’s laws or even if they are, for example, activists pushing for the boycott [of Israel] who are coming just to hurt Israel – that is an outrageous and disgraceful demand that we cannot accept.”

On Monday, it was revealed that organizers of the annual song contest had sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, informing him of their conditions for the Eurovision contest to be held in Israel.

The demands reportedly included:

  • The granting of entry visas to Israel, regardless of political opinion
  • Visitors may travel in Israel without restriction, regardless of their political views, religion or sexual orientation
  • Freedom of the press and utter expression to all participants and delegations
  • Removing religious restrictions and performing general rehearsals on the Shabbat
  • Complete independence for the Kan radio broadcaster