Netanyahu’s Bid to Host Next Eurovision in Jerusalem Sparks Twitter Storm
AP Photo / Armando FrancaMiddle East16:02 13.05.2018Get short URL
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the singer Netta Barzilai on her victory at the Eurovision Song Contest and promised that the competition will be held in Jerusalem next year.
“Netta, you have brought great glory to the state of Israel!” Next year, in Jerusalem!” Netanyahu wrote in his Twitter.
Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu called the performer’s victory a gift to the city.
“These days, Jerusalem is blessed with many gifts, another one we received last night with Netta’s brilliant and explosive victory,” the prime minister said.
Netanyahu’s remarks sparked active debate on social media.
While many Israelis celebrated their country’s victory in the song contest…
…others slammed the country’s head for the escalation of the situation in the region.
Netta Barzilai came out victorious at the prestigious 2018 Eurovision song contest on Sunday, which means that the next Eurovision in 2019 will be held in Israel. However, holding the contest in Jerusalem is likely to cause severe protests, as the status of Jerusalem remains highly contentious, mirroring the Middle East conflict.
READ MORE: Israeli Contestant Gains Victory in 2018 Eurovision Song Contest (VIDEO)
The ancient city is claimed by both Israel and Palestine as their capital, which are locked in a fundamental border conflict. The international community does not recognize these claims, since a UN resolution of 1947 defines Jerusalem as a “separated body.”
The tense situation regarding the status of the city escalated recently when in December 2017, the US recognized it as the official capital of Israel, with US President Donald Trump announcing his decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This move prompted sharp protests among Palestinians and in several states of the Arab world.