Israel chooses Tel Aviv to host 2019 Eurovision Song Contest
14 Sep 2018, 00:36 ( 5 days ago)
Israel's coastal city of Tel Aviv-Yafo was chosen on Thursday as the host of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, an international song competition held primarily among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
The decision was made collectively by the EBU and the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, which favored Tel Aviv over the disputed holy city of Jerusalem.
Israel was awarded the hosting in May 2018, after the country's victory in this year's contest held in Lisbon, capital of Portugal, with the song "Toy" performed by the Israeli female singer Netta Barzilai.
It is the first time that Tel Aviv will host the event, which will take place on May 18 in the EXPO International Convention Center in the northern part of the city.
However, there has been a public argument in Israel about which city should be chosen to host the international song competition, mainly between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The supporters of Jerusalem, including right-wing politicians, claim Jerusalem as the capital of Israel despite its lack of international recognition.
Others contend that Tel Aviv should be the host city to avoid possible boycott and controversy.
Notably, Israel had hosted the song competition, respectively in 1979 and 1999, both in Jerusalem.
About 20,000 tourists are expected to visit Tel Aviv for the contest, bringing in an estimated 100 million new shekels (28 million U.S. dollars) in direct revenues.