Photo: Channel 1
Shiri Maimon will represent Israel in Eurovision contest
Photo: Channel 1

Lebanon quits contest ‘because of Israel’

Lebanese television station refuses to provide assurances it would air the Eurovision song contest in full, including Israel’s song

Lebanon has decided to withdraw from the 2005 Eurovision song contest in order to avoid airing the Israeli song on local television, the European Broadcasting Union confirmed Friday.


The affair began several weeks ago after the official Lebanese website set up for the competition avoided any mention of Israel.


Eventually, Lebanese broadcaster Télé-Liban found a creative solution - it removed the names of all participating countries from the site.


However, the EBU remained apprehensive and sought assurances that the upcoming contest would be broadcast in full, including the Israeli song.


Notably, in the 1978 contest Jordanian television refrained from broadcasting Israel’s song, instead opting to air photos of flowers.


When it became apparent Israel was going to win the competition, the Jordanians stopped broadcasting the vote and aired an American movie instead.


Lebanon first Eurovision appearance


Télé-Liban, however, was apparently unable to provide the assurances requested by the EBU and Lebanon subsequently withdrew from the contest.


The 2005 event was expected to mark the first time Lebanon takes part in the popular contest, but now it appears history would not be made this year after all.


"I feel particularly sorry for Aline Lahoud, the Lebanese participant", said Svante Stockselius, EBU coordinator for the contest.


פרסום ראשון: 03.18.05, 21:28
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