Jerusalem Prepares for ‘Historic’ Embassy Openings, Hosting 2019 Eurovision Song Contest

Embassies are moving to Jerusalem – and so is the Eurovision contest. Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

It’s a cascade of international honors on Israel’s capital city lately—just days before the United States, Guatemlala, and Paraguay start opening their embassies in Jerusalem, the Israelis learned that they will also host the prestigious 2019 Eurovision international song contest in Jerusalem. Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won the 2018 Eurovision on Saturday with her song “TOY”, and as Eurovision’s website notes, it is custom for the winning country to host the event the following year.

“These days Jerusalem is being blessed with many gifts. We received another one last night with Netta’s thrilling and suspenseful victory. The gift is that Eurovision will come to Jerusalem next year; we will be very proud to host it,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments released by his office on Sunday, which also happened to be the annual Jerusalem Day in Israel.

Of course, as Netanyahu later noted in separate comments to the American delegation present to open the US embassy, the Eurovision is next year. This year, Jerusalem is opening embassies—and more may be on the way.

On Monday, the Americans will make history by opening their embassy in Jerusalem, followed just days later by Guatemala and then Paraguay a few days afterwards. Netanyahu, in comments to the Americans published by his office, said that still more nations are in the process of making the move. Which ones?

“That’s a state secret, and we don’t reveal our state secrets. Sometimes we reveal other’s state secrets,” said Netanyahu. “We’ll let you know as time comes.”

The Israeli leader went on to call upon “all countries to join the US in moving their embassies to Jerusalem” because “it’s the right thing to do.”

“Move your embassies to Jerusalem because it advances peace, and that’s because you can’t base peace on a foundation of lies,” said Netanyahu. “You base peace on the foundations of truth, and the truth is that not only has Jerusalem been the capital of the Jewish people for millennia and the capital of our state from its inception, the truth is that under any peace agreement you could possibly imagine, Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital.”

Netanyahu applauded US President Donald Trump for the decision to move his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city, calling it “real leadership” because “others are following in President Trump’s footsteps.”

Those embassy moves are happening even though some nations have opposed the US embassy decision. In some ways, there’s a similarity to the Eurovision result.

“You know what we say: Those who didn’t want Jerusalem in the Eurovision are going to get the Eurovision in Jerusalem,” said Netanyahu. “Next year in Jerusalem.”

And this year, in Jerusalem, multiple nations will be recognizing the city as Israel’s capital for the first time in modern history.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, May 13, 2018)




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