Photo: Reuters
Mei Feingold at Eurovision 2014
Photo: Reuters

After four consecutive rejections, Israel reconsiders Eurovision participation

Despite strong performance by Mei Feingold, Israeli delegation once again left out of finals of European song content.

COPENHAGEN – Despite good song selection and an electrifying show which drew numerous compliments, Mei Feingold was not selected to participate in the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest. Officials from the Israel Broadcasting Authority raised concerns over why Feingold was skipped over and said the country would consider retiring from the competition.



Feingold performed her song Same Heart second in a line-up of 15 acts. She carried the crowd during her performance, and they reacted with enthusiastic cheers. Feingold finished her song in front of a group of Israeli supporters, who had inched up to cheer near the stage.


Mei Feingold at Eurovision 2014 (Photo: EPA)
Mei Feingold at Eurovision 2014 (Photo: EPA)


The Israeli delegation was satisfied with the perfect performance, but despite their overwhelming confidence at the end of Feingold's turn, the officials' concern grew that Israel would once again be left out in the cold after the votes were counted.


"I came off the stage feeling like I did my part. It was a long and arduous road for me and the crew, but like in every competition the final results are out of your hands. I did the best I could. Thank you to everyone for the kinds words and support, I do not take it for granted," said Feingold after the results were announced.


Udi Betzalel, who led the delegation, said: "I am glad we managed to give Mei the working environment needed to give it her all, and she did just that."


Before the show, officials in the delegation said that if they were denied a spot in the finals, as they have in the past three years, Israel would announce its retirement from the competition – 41 years after it first joined.



After the show, a member of the IBA's board, Yaakov Neve, said that he would issue a recommendation against participating in the competition in 2015. "There is something odd about failing to reach the finals four years running," said Neve.


Foreign journalists and performers echoed that opinion and said that being denied a spot in the finals this year proves Israeli claims that their progression in the competition has been held up by political considerations.


If Israel was to retire, even temporarily, from the Eurovision, it would create an opportunity for Arab countries affiliated with the European broadcasting union to enter the competition – which they had avoided in previous years because of their refusal to compete with Israelis.


In recent years various European countries have called for the participation of the Palestinian Authority in the singing competition, despite the PA not being member of the European broadcasting union.


פרסום ראשון: 05.09.14, 12:51
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