FAQ: Why Can Israel Participate in the Eurovision Song Contest?

  FAQ – We frequently get questions concerning the Eurovision Song Contest. In this new category, we will answer the most frequently asked questions (FAQs). Many people watching Eurovision for the very first time may be surprised to see Israel in the line-up. Why can Israel that is completely in Asia, participate in the Eurovision Song Contest?

The answer is quite simple. There is a reason the Eurovision Song Contest is not the European Song Contest (how some people  keep calling the contest mistakingly). The organizer of the Eurovision Song Contest is the European Broadcasting Union that organizes cooperation between all member broadcasters. This network of cooperation (f.ex. to exchange television programs) is called Eurovision.

All countries which are  in the European Broadcasting Area, or which are a member of the Council of Europe (in the case of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia). The European Broadcasting Area is defined by the International Telecommunication Union as such:

The “European Broadcasting Area” is bounded on the west by the western boundary of Region 1, on the east by the meridian 40° East of Greenwich and on the south by the parallel 30° North so as to include the northern part of Saudi Arabia and that part of those countries bordering the Mediterranean within these limits. In addition, Iraq, Jordan and that part of the territory of Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey and Ukraine lying outside the above limits are included in the European Broadcasting Area.

Here is the European Broadcasting Area:

Apart from Israel, all African countries bordering the Mediterranean as well as Jordan and Iraq could join the Eurovision family. Morocco participated one time in 1980.

35 thoughts on “FAQ: Why Can Israel Participate in the Eurovision Song Contest?

  1. Cyprus is as much in Asia as Israel. Yet nobody asks why Cyprus is allowed to participate. Is it because Cyprus (at least the part that participates in Eurovision) is a christian country?

  2. the question is, why could Morocco participate in the ESC…
    culturally we are more European than Turkey and Azerbaijan together….

  3. I think that the answer to that question lies within the article itself, so nth more to add :)
    Israel is an undoubted part of the eurovision history.
    In addition, arab countries have a huge musical heritage therefore they could provide us some very good entries, should they’d ever participate in the ESC. Personally I’d love to see them in.
    Btw, I love the only entry sent by an arab country in the ESC (Morocco 1980).

  4. Next year will be the 40th anniversary of Israel’s first participation and not to mention they’ve hosted twice, but some people still ask why are they in it in a mean, not curious way *sigh*

  5. I haven’t understood yet why some people consider Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus and even Kazakhstan more “european” then Israel.
    I’m from Israel and I don’t consider my country as part of Europe but somehow we are a “eurpeanised” country, (living in Tel -Aviv looks like living in any other city in Europe) but really, how can an Azeri/Armenian/Ukrainian guy say that he’s “european”? (I don’t want to offend anyone, they can say what they want)
    By the way, we’ve been partecipating for a VERY long time, so people just got used to see us in Eurovision, and in the future maybe we’ll get used to Azernajan etc. as well.
    I know that saying “Israel/Armenia/Russa… won Eurovision” instead of “Italy/Belgium/France” sounds strange (even to me, honestly), but that’s the new Eurovision, with 43 countries competing instead of 20, block voting and 80% of the songs in English.

    • Ukraine and Belarus ARE more European than Israel! They are Slavic nations close to Russians and Russians are culturally in Europe, and geographically to the Ural mountains! Both Belarus and Ukraine are very far west from Ural mountains!
      Why are you ashamed of Asia? I don’t understand, why is Asia worse than Europe? :S :/

      • Asia ISN’T worse then Europe at all, and I’m not “ashemed” of Asia neither ;)
        I was just wondering why the title of this article is “Why can Israel partecipate?” and not “Why can Azerbaijan/Armenia/Georgia partecipate?” instead.
        I wasn’t saying which continent is “better” or “worse” (and I think that no one could), but talking about Eurovision, why is our partecipation in the contest less “fair” then Azerbaijan’s?

        • In the last geographical researches all three Caucasus countries are in Europe as continent and Israel is in Asia..and those researches did American geographers.. i speak only about pure geography now, natural issues…not about culture..

  6. Because Israel is member of the EBU! :) Eurovision is not only for European countries!!! In this Contest can participate all of EBU members! :)

  7. I personally don’t care, as Israel’s contributions to ESC have been often better than their more “European” counterparts efforts.

  8. Too bad Kazakhstan is not covered in this map – I know they would love to take part. However, by looking at the map we can see that Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are not covered too and these countries are certainly participating big time in ESC.

    • this is a very interesant question. palestinian people can not participate in nothing because ” israeli” will kill them . actually this is the real answer , ” israel” can participate because everybody is afraid of them …einfach so

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