Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided not to split up KAN. Originally, the government agreed to split the broadcaster, but the Prime Minister has withdrawn his plans. Part of the reason for that is the Eurovision Song Contest…
KAN’s membership under threat
Netanyahu presented a law a while ago, which stated that broadcaster KAN would split up. The news division of the broadcaster would start operating as a separate channel. The entertainment department would form its own channel after the split. The Prime Minister pushed hard to introduce the law to parliament.
However, the Israelis decided to enquire with the EBU how they would feel about the split. In a reaction, Geneva commented by saying that every member broadcaster of the Union needs to have an internal news department. A potential split of the two would jeopardise the chances of KAN becoming a permanent member of the Eurovision community. Netanyahu’s office commented on the matter, stating:
The attorney general gave his opinion that the law will harm the holding of the Eurovision in Israel. Therefore, it was agreed to amend the legislation in order to allow the Eurovision to take place in Israel.
Host city race still on
After early fears of the contest being moved to other locations, such as Austria, Israel is now secure as a host. Five cities are reportedly fighting for the right to host. Four of those have been mentioned over and over again: Eilat, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. The fifth, Masada, only seems to have a minimal chance of securing the hosting rights, because it is an outside ancient site.
In a recent report, Tel Aviv seemed to be the most logical choice. The Fairgrounds there, along with the Pavillion 2 venue, were early favourites to host the show. The pavillion can hold up to 10,000 people, which would meet the requirements set by EBU.