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Why is Israel participating in Eurovision if it is not a European country?

Although geographically not in Europe, Israel participates in the Eurovision Song Contest as part of European Broadcasting Union (EBU)a body responsible for organizing program exchanges, coordinating co-productions, negotiating broadcasting rights and participating in the development of new technologies.

The ECU consists of 73 active members in 56 countries of Europe and other countries of the Mediterranean basin and Western Asia. Israel has won the contest four times. The last one was in 2018 when Netta got a crystal microphone thanks to Toy.

Israel first won Eurovision in 1978 thanks to Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta and its theme is A-ba-ni-bi. A year later, in 1979 Gali Atari and milk and honey they again proclaimed Israel the winner with their song “Hallelujah”. But, without a doubt, one of the most high-profile victories in the competition was in 1998, when Dana, a trans singer, won the festival with Diva. Her performance provoked the ire of various Orthodox sections of her native country, who came to ask for a boycott of the artist.

In this 2022 year, the country will also take part in the competition. On April 12, Israel announced its partial withdrawal due to the military strike. Jewish Ministry of Foreign Affairs which made it impossible to escort the delegation from Israeli broadcast to Turin. Having settled the mess, the Israeli authorities confirmed their presence. IM is the name of the song you will be playing. Michael Ben David in the competition.

Eurovision, showcase of international conflicts

Eurovision It is the most popular music event in the world with over 200 million viewers. This visibility gives each country a great opportunity to show itself and advertise. In this sense, there were many criticisms that fell on those territories that, taking advantage of the competition, tried to wash your image. The case of Israel is one that has attracted the most attention, but it is not the only one.

To see one of the first uses of Eurovision as a political weapon, you have to go back to 1964, when a man came out after a performance in Switzerland with a banner saying “Boycott Franco and Salazar”, alluding to the dictatorships of Spain and Portugal.

This was not the only gesture against Franco’s regime, as Austria withdrew from the 1969 contest when the festival was held in Madrid. That year Eurovision was held in Madrid. A game Joan Manuel Serrat a year earlier that he had refused to represent Spain with this La, la, la, as his intention was to speak at least two sentences in Catalan, but Franco’s censorship prevented him from doing so.

In 2014, Ukraine did not allow a Russian candidate to enter the country to present his issue immediately after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula. In the same year, Russia was excluded from the competition after the start of the war in the Donbass.

All of these examples give an idea of ​​the political benefits each country has derived from the festival and the opportunism of many rulers to gloss over and downplay the human rights abuses committed in their territories.

Other non-European countries participating in Eurovision

Throughout history, there have been several countries that were not geographically in Europe and participated in Eurovision. There are five in this edition: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Australia and Israel.

The case of Australia is somewhat different from the others as Australians are not active members of the European Broadcasting Union. Australia pay a fee but his status in the organization is that of associate member. It was in 2015 that he made his debut at the festival on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the competition and, among other things, thanks to mass waiting what it caused in the ocean country in which it broadcast for about thirty years.



Source: www.publico.es

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