Israel: Is Noa Kirel’s participation in Eurovision 2023 in danger? | The message of EBU’s General Director to the country’s prim minister!

In a previous article we informed you about Israel’s possible abscence in Eurovision 2023, as the country’s government thinks about shutting down the public broadcaster and specifically its news department.

If this ends up happening, then the channel will not no longer meet its commitment to a full range of programming as public service media, putting in doubt its eligibility for EBU membership and ability to take part in major events such as the Eurovision Song Contest.

The EBU’s Director General, Noel Curran, has expressed his concern about threats to the integrity and independence of Israeli national public broadcaster, KAN, in a letter to the country’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu:

“Independent news and information form an integral component of public service media organizations and make a key contribution to media pluralism in well-functioning democracies…. With the primary interest of the public in mind, that directly funds KAN, we trust the new government will also safeguard the independence of KAN and enable it to continue to fulfil its mission in democratic society.”

General Director Curran, finished his letter by saying:

“The EBU’s responsibility is to ensure that it supports all our Members in their mission to serve the interests of the general public in the best possible manner. These developments risk undermining KAN’s capability to meet its commitments as a member of our international alliance of public service media organizations.”

Causing particular concern were recent remarks by the country’s Communications Minister, Shlomo Karhi, that challenged the freedom of the press and threatened to shut down KAN’s news operation. In a radio interview, he stated that:

“The public shouldn’t fund one particular channel, there should not be public broadcasting.”

Since its creation in 2017, KAN’s television, radio and online offer has included a diverse range of news and information, entertainment, cultural and educational content. Its membership of the EBU also enables the broadcaster to benefit from world-class sports rights, including the 2022 World Cup, and live entertainment, notably the Eurovision Song Contest that was organized by KAN in 2019, following Israel’s win the previous year.

Back in 2017, the then Israeli government had issued statements showing intent to dismantle KAN’s news operation. These were finally abandoned when the EBU insisted on this being a condition of the Israeli broadcaster’s hosting of the 2019 Song Contest.

In the end, we would like to remind you that Israel had already confirmed its taking part in Eurovision 2023 back in March 2022 and has selcted Noa Kirel internally as their representative. Will the young singer be able to perform on Liverpool’s stage?

Stay tuned on Eurovisionfun for all the news regarding the Israeli participation at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, in Liverpool!


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