European Anti-Semitism Goes Well Beyond “Criticism of Israel”
While there is little doubt that hatred of Israel has become the dominant form of anti-Semitism in Europe, its more naked forms persist as well. Manfred Gerstenfeld writes:
Polls by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) show that the evil myth that Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus is alive and well in Europe. It was found that 46 percent of Poles, 38 percent of Hungarians, 21 percent of Danes and Spaniards, and 19 percent of Norwegians and Belgians believe this. So do 18 percent of Austrians and British, 16 percent of the Dutch, 15 percent of Italians, and 14 percent of Germans. Once a belief is so deeply ingrained in a culture, it takes a very long time to flush it out. Rather than disappear, it will change its shape. . . .
From [another] study, it emerged that at least 150 million adult EU citizens agreed with the statement that Israel is conducting “a war of extermination against the Palestinians.” . . . In another new mutation of anti-Semitism, European Jews are now accused of being responsible for Israel’s actions. . . .
The way that ingrained anti-Semitism manifests itself varies not only from subculture to subculture but also from country to country. In January 2014, a mass rally in Paris took place. This “Day of Anger” was not related to any specific Jewish topic, and part of the protest was against French president François Hollande’s economic plans. However, various groups of participants started to shout anti-Semitic slogans. These included, “Jews, France doesn’t belong to you” and [the Holocaust denier] “Faurisson is right,” as well as “the Holocaust was a hoax.”
The same has happened recently in the “Yellow Vest” demonstrations. These are ostensibly a protest against the French president Emmanuel Macron’s decision to raise fuel prices—again, a topic that has nothing to do with Jews. Yet during some of the demonstrations, there have been signs describing Macron as a “whore of the Jews” and as their “puppet.”
Alan Dershowitz: Double Standard for Historical Revisionism
Ford’s book, The International Jew, became a bestseller in many parts of the world and was cited at the Nuremberg trials as a work that turned many Germans and Austrians into anti-Semitic Nazi leaders and followers. Ford was the single most influential anti-Semite in the first quarter of the 20th century and beyond.
Yet, according to the New York Times, Ford’s “name or likeness graces everything from the performing arts center to the manhole covers.” Bill McGraw, a historian of Dearborn, has written that “Ford’s attacks on Jews were distributed around the world before and after World War II and, alarmingly, they influence budding neo-Nazis today.”
The New York Times continues: “But Mr. McGraw also included in his report an article on how Mr. Ford’s descendants have consistently supported Jewish charities and cultural organizations…” These descendants should be praised for those contributions and not condemned for the sins of their ancestor. But the truth about Henry Ford must be told — to the residents of Dearborn and to the world.
Many buildings are named after Henry Ford, who remains Dearborn’s favorite son. It’s difficult to go anywhere in Dearborn without encountering the Ford name. Even buildings carrying the generic name Ford are based on his deeply flawed legacy. There is too much honoring of Henry Ford and too little educating about the horrible influence he had on promoting anti-Semitism and Nazism.
I’m not one for destroying or removing statues or other historical works of art, but I strongly believe that these images must be accompanied by contemporary descriptions of the evil deeds committed by those portrayed in the art. Removing the Ford name from Dearborn’s Ford Community & Performing Arts Center raises more difficult issues. There is no art, just honoring, in the selection of a name for a center. Henry Ford does not deserve to be honored. The question the good people of Dearborn should ask themselves is: What would you do if the center were named after Jefferson Davis? If the answer is that you would remove Davis’s name, then you should remove Ford’s. There cannot be differences between how anti-Black, anti-gay, anti-women and anti-Jewish practitioners of bigotry are treated. There must be a single standard for historical revisionism.
Melanie Phillips: Ireland bigotry, EU bares teeth on Brexit
Please join me in the video below for my latest chat about our crazy world with Avi Abelow of Israel Unwired. We discuss the bill which is currently going through the Irish parliament to boycott Israeli goods or services produced in the disputed territories or eastern Jerusalem. You can read what I wrote about this piece of poisonous bigotry here.
We also discuss the latest in the Brexit crisis, in which the EU negotiators have decided to double down on their intransigence by refusing to re-open negotiations with the UK in the hope that the supposed chaos caused by leaving the EU with no deal will cause the British to come crawling back on their knees to accept the terms they have so far rejected. What this tells us is that the Eurocrats not only have the mindset of the mafia but really don’t understand democracy, political liberty or the British national character at all.
Go figure… dozens of conflict zones around the world and @PSCupdates and Corbyn only want a musical boycott of the Jewish state.
— Jewish Human Rights Watch (@jhrwatch) February 5, 2019
The protection of BDS as part of Americans’ constitutional rights has set off a stormy debate within the ranks of the Democratic Party. Some see the Republican bill as an attempt to drive a wedge between the progressive and centrist wings of the Democrats. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), a Jew who ran for president and has joined the opposition to the bill, explained that even if he personally did not support BDS, it was necessary to protect the “constitutional right” of every American to participate in political activity. Sanders said it was clear to him that the bill violated the First Amendment.
The First Amendment prohibits Congress from passing any law that limits freedom of religion, speech, the press, peaceable assembly, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. It also gives racist and anti-Semitic organizations like the Ku Klux Klan great latitude for incitement. Less than 100 years ago, in 1924, delegates to the Democratic National Convention proposed condemning the racist movement and its violent activity. The proposal was voted down for reasons that included the First Amendment.
No matter what happens with the anti-BDS bill in Congress, the American people must be made aware of the similarities between it and the Ku Klux Klan. The slogan should be: BDS=KKK. They are both anti-Semitic, racist movements and even if a decision is made not to outlaw BDS, despite its anti-Semitic platform and its links to terrorism, it should be marginalized alongside other racist hate groups and not have a place in the mainstream – certainly not in the Democratic Party.
We need to make it clear: BDS is not a boycott organization, it’s a movement that wants to deny Jews their right to national self-determination and wipe out the State of Israel. It is a direct continuation of the Arab-Muslim battle against the founding of a Jewish state in the land of Israel. It is not a fight to end the “occupation” or opposing the settlements – it wants the liberate “Palestine” from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The fact that Jews and Israeli citizens belong to the BDS movement does not mean that it is not anti-Semitic. Throughout history, there have always been self-hating Jews.
The most important picture taken during the Pope’s trip to the Arab Emirates was the Pontiff’s close encounter with the imam of Al Azhar, Ahmed al Tayyeb. They kissed each other after signing a joint declaration which repudiated violence justified “in the name of religion”.
Religion? I don’t see any violence today in the name of Christianity or Judaism or Buddhism, while I see a lot in
I don’t see any violence today in the name of Christianity or Judaism or Buddhism, while I see a lot in the name of Islam.
the name of Islam. But let’s go on.
Tayyeb is the same Islamic religious figure who suspended all dialogue with the Vatican in 2010, after Pope Benedict XVI had dared to ask for respect following a series of devastating attacks on Coptic churches in Egypt. Since then, the condition of Christians in the Islamic world – their numbers, their persecutions, their exiles – has worsened everywhere, in Cairo, in Damascus, in Mosul, in Turkey, in the Philippines, in Pakistan, in Kenya.
So I ask myself: was there really any need for this physical demonstration of affection, for a kiss? Shouldn’t dialogue be based on facts, rather than on the effusions and the right but empty words in deference to the cameras? When everyone gets excited, applauds, beats his heels and hands, I think there is something wrong.
And there is something wrong in the double standard of who is called the Pope’s friend. Francis kissed an anti-Semite and an Islamist of the worst kind. “The solution to Israeli terror lies in the proliferation of suicide attacks that spread terror into the hearts of Allah’s enemies”, said Ahmed al Tayyeb during the Second Intifada. It goes without saying that “the Palestinians have the right to blow up everything they want” (women, children, bars, buses, as long as the victims are Jewish Zionists).
For the imam, the Muslims who convert to Christianity deserve to be killed (he called them “apostates”), anti-Semitism is justified by the Koran and Jerusalem has never been Jewish.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) hesitated Tuesday before calling Israel a U.S. ally and quickly moved away from a CNN reporter when asked about her support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
CNN reporter Manu Raju, revealing her office tried to deny him the interview, tracked down Omar, a staunch critic of Israel, after she spoke Tuesday at the left-wing Center for American Progress about religious liberty.
“It’s really important for us to get a different lens about what peace in that region could look like, and the kind of difficult conversations we need to have about allies,” Omar said.
“Do you think that Israel is an ally or do you think it’s an adversary?” Raju asked.
Hesitating slightly, Omar said “Israel is an ally of the United States” and called on allies to live out the same values the U.S. pushes.
“Why do you support BDS?” Raju asked, but Omar immediately walked away.
Asked at CAP what she had learned during recent discussion about anti-Semitism, Omar didn’t mention Jews or anti-Semitism in her response.
Answer doesn’t mention Jews or anti-Semitism once https://t.co/JEce5ZNUB7
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) February 5, 2019
Officials from the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Employment have egg on their faces after a photo on Facebook showed them enjoying Israeli soft drinks at one of their meetings, in violation of a PA-imposed boycott. The image, removed soon after it appeared last month, demonstrated that PA officials are not serious about abiding by the demands of the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement that they have asked others to support.
The PA is not alone in its hypocrisy. For almost four years, the United Church of Christ (UCC) – a liberal Protestant church in the US that has assisted anti-normalization extremists in the West Bank in their ongoing propaganda war against Israel – has portrayed itself as part of the BDS movement targeting Israel even as it remained invested in stocks it publicly and loudly declared anathema in a resolution passed by its General Synod in June 2015. The information is all right there in the schedules of investments posted online by the denomination’s money managers. The church’s pension fund still owns millions of dollars in stock in companies banned by the General Synod, and up until recently, no one has said anything.
The UCC is like a gun-owner driving around town with shotguns displayed openly in the gun rack of his pickup truck, even after signing, with great fanfare, a no-guns pledge on the steps of town hall. He is just waiting for someone to ask him, “Hey, weren’t you supposed to get rid of those?” And yet, no one asks.
Anti-Israel activists, who claimed victory when the UCC joined the BDS movement, have stayed quiet about the denomination’s continued ownership of the proscribed stocks, as if they knew the whole thing was an act, a con from the beginning.
The charade began on June 30, 2015, when the denomination’s General Synod passed, by a vote of 508 to 124, a resolution calling on the church’s money managers to divest the assets they controlled from stocks that did business with the Jewish state. The argument was that the companies listed – most notably Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola – were complicit in human rights violations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and that it was immoral for the denomination to earn a profit from their evil deeds. “We ourselves can no longer continue to profit from the violence that is consuming the land that we called holy,” declared Richard Edens, who chaired the committee that brought the divestment resolution to the floor of General Synod.
The state can confiscate ships used in flotillas to break the IDF’s naval blockade of Gaza, the Haifa Court, sitting as a maritime court, has ruled setting a precedent which could deter the flotilla tactic.
The Haifa District Attorney’s Office announced the decision on Wednesday in which Deputy Haifa Court President Ron Sokol had, earlier in the week, approved the state’s request to seize the Zaytouna-Oliva which sailed from Barcelona in a September 2016 “women’s flotilla” to break the blockade.
The Zaytouna-Oliva was taken over by the IDF in October 2016 with the state maintaining a blockade of Gaza for over a decade, saying it has a right to do so under international law because of the ongoing state of war with Hamas which runs Gaza.
The IDF used female soldiers to take over the sailboat to reduce the possibility of friction with the all female crew.
In contrast, various human rights groups, including those involved in flotillas, criticize the blockade as violating international law and causing collective suffering of Gazan civilians.
International bodies which have looked at the issue have split over the blockade’s legality.
Amnesty International Israel is recruiting applicants for Sherut Leumi, Israel National Service.
Solicitations for the positions are live on the website of Shlomit, one of four organizations that handles national service applications.
The discovery of the post caused an uproar among some right-wing activists and nationalists. An organization called Betsalmo has registered a formal complaint with the Authority for National Civic Service, calling on the state to immediately prevent national service volunteers from working with the left-wing NGO.
Last month, Amnesty International, the umbrella organization of Amnesty International Israel, came under fire when it published a report titled “Destination: Occupation” that called on the four largest web vacation booking sites – Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor – to boycott West Bank settlements, as well as Jewish listings in east Jerusalem.
In the aftermath of the report, Strategic Affairs and Public Safety Minister Gilad Erdan said he would consider banning non-Israeli Amnesty employees from Israel if the organization continued acting against settlement tourism. He called the report “hypocritical,” saying it spoke in the name of human rights but, in practice, supported an antisemitic and delegitimization campaign against Israel.
Despite all the corrupt, tyrannical theocracies and dictatorships in the Middle East, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) — the academic umbrella organization for the field — aims its harshest criticism at the only democracy in the region: Israel. MESA’s disdain is apparent in the dozens of “advocacy letters” it has directed at Israel since 2001. The latest open letter from its Committee on Academic Freedom to Israel’s government demands an end to the Jewish state’s alleged “arbitrary arrests at and incursions into Palestinian universities” and “the Israeli Army’s harm to students at all levels of education.”
Ignoring the long history of terrorist recruiting on Palestinian campuses and the terrorism committed by Palestinian students under the tutelage of their Hamas and Fatah advisors, MESA falsely portrays Palestinian academics and students as benign.
But MESA’s most disingenuous claim is that Israel harasses peaceful Palestinian students with “arbitrary arrests,” a phrase used three times in the short letter. It also appears on Birzeit University’s Facebook page, where its “Right to Education Campaign condemns arbitrary arrest of Birzeit University’s Head of Student Council.”
So, who are the innocent students MESA would have us believe were “arbitrarily” arrested, while working diligently toward their degrees? One was twenty-four-year-old Birzeit student Omar Al-Kiswani. His Hamas contacts include Yassin Rabie, who was released from an Israeli prison as part of the 2011 deal in which 1,027 terrorists were traded for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Rabie funneled 150,000 euros ($171,000) to Al-Kiswani to “cover Hamas activities at Birzeit University,” according to Shin Bet. Three other Birzeit-Hamas students were arrested in July and August: Issa Shalalda, Omar Ma’soud, and Hazem Hamayel. MESA doesn’t mention them.
In December 2013, the American Studies Association (ASA) became the first, and so far the only, major American academic association to adopt the academic boycott of Israel, part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).
As I have documented, the BDS movement is a continuation of the anti-Jewish boycotts of the 1920s and 1930s in the then British Mandate for Palestine, the Arab League boycott of Jewish businesses (even prior to Israel’s independence) and later of Israel, and the gross antisemitic activism at the 2001 Tehran and Durban conferences which launched boycotts in the current form.
The claim that BDS was a response to a 2005 call from Palestinian civil society is a demonstrable lie. That was the cover story to repackage an anti-Jewish boycott in the language of ‘social justice’, as documented in my lecture, The REAL history of the BDS movement:
The fallout from the December 2013 ASA resolution was swift. The ASA action, which is considered a violation of academic freedom by the American Association of University Professors, was condemned by over 250 university presidents and numerous university associations. ASA tried to exclude Israelis from its annual meeting in California, but the threat of legal action caused ASA to back down.
In April 2016, ASA and its leaders were sued in federal court in D.C. by other ASA members, claiming irregularities in the way ASA adopted the boycott.
The absorption of Ethiopian Jews has not been without huge challenges over the years. Nonetheless, it is a source of immense pride that Israel has facilitated the immigration of the community where second and third generation Israelis of Ethiopian descent are making their way as full and valued members of Israeli society.
Of course it would be naive to paint everything as perfect. Ethiopians have suffered from racism and discrimination similar to black populations in other countries, including the US. The Israeli government has also come in for criticism over delays in bringing the remaining Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
The first Ethiopian Jews in the latest wave of immigration landed in Israel to a warm welcome at Ben Gurion Airport.
The Associated Press reported the story:
Media outlets republishing AP content are free to change the original headlines. The Australian‘s headline writers, however, took the AP story and engaged in some blatant editorializing:
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during January 2019 shows that throughout the month a total of 160 incidents took place: 116 in Judea & Samaria, 22 in Jerusalem and 22 in the Gaza Strip sector.
In Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem the agency recorded 112 attacks with petrol bombs, 15 attacks using pipe bombs, four shooting attacks, four stabbing attacks, two attacks using grenades and one attack using a gas cylinder placed inside a burning tyre.
Incidents recorded in the Gaza Strip sector included 2 attacks with petrol bombs, 3 attacks using IEDs, one shooting attack, two grenade attacks and three rocket attacks.
Throughout January three people were wounded in terror attacks. A civilian bus driver was wounded in a shooting attack on a bus on January 5th. On January 9th a civilian was wounded in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem. A member of the security forces was injured in a shooting attack at the border with the Gaza Strip on January 22nd. Neither those incidents nor any of the others which did not result in injuries received any coverage on the BBC News website.
A rocket attack on January 7th was briefly mentioned in a report on another topic but another attack on January 12th was ignored.
In short, the BBC News website reported 0.63% of the Palestinian terror attacks which took place during January 2019.
— Ozraeli Dave (@Israellycool) February 6, 2019
Two New York congresswomen have introduced bipartisan legislation that would increase federal funding for Holocaust education in America’s schools.
The purpose of the Never Again Education Act, according to Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Elise Stefanik, is to address a “national rise in antisemitism” by attacking its root cause.
“We are at a dangerous moment in time. Antisemitism is on the rise around the world and here at home, and the memory of the Holocaust is fading for far too many Americans,” said Maloney, who represents a significant district of Manhattan. “We can combat this by making sure we teach our students, tomorrow’s leaders, about the horrors of the Holocaust. It is simply not enough to condemn hateful, violent attacks against the Jewish community – we need to be proactive, we need to take action.”
Maloney rallied around the bill with fellow New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Jewish leaders in Manhattan on Monday, including leaders of the Center for Jewish History, United Jewish Appeal, The Jewish Community Relations Council and the American Jewish Committee, among others.
Dutch police arrested five soccer supporters for allegedly singing an increasingly popular chant about burning Jews at a match .
The incident, which reflects both growing resolve to punish chanters and the proliferation of antisemitic sports chants, took place near the De Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27.
“My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews ’cause Jews burn the best,” the suspects chanted, according to the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, a Dutch watchdog on antisemitism known as CIDI. It called the chant a “recurring problem” in a statement.
The suspects, who were fined $570 each, allegedly were cheering for the Feyenoord team of Rotterdam, who won a match over Amsterdam’s Ajax.
Ajax is one of several European soccer teams that are seen as historically Jewish. Fans from rival teams often taunt supporters and players of the supposedly Jewish teams with antisemitic limericks and symbols; the song about burning Jews is seen as among the most offensive of the taunts.
Chelsea Football Club celebrated the first anniversary of its global campaign against antisemitism on Monday night in Tel Aviv with UN ambassadors from around the world, led by Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon.
The idea for the campaign, titled “Say No to Antisemitism,” first came from Russian-Israeli owner of the team Roman Abramovich, who suggested that a more intense approach to antisemitism is a necessary move for the club. The project is in affiliation with the World Jewish Congress.
Abramovich’s idea stimulated the team to take “a comprehensive approach to tackling antisemitism,” according to Chelsea Football Club Chairman Bruce Buck in an October interview with The Jerusalem Post.
The project has no deadline as the team plans on fighting antisemitism as long as it takes.
The team faced an uphill battle in mid-January when they were expected to face disciplinary action over alleged antisemitic chanting by their supporters, according to UEFA.
This did not stop Chelsea FC from using their platform, as well as the already-existing campaign, to show their supporters that there is a better way. “People have been saying things that they have been thinking for many years, but never spoke out loud until now,” said Buck, who blamed the rise in antisemitism on populism.
Adam Scott Bellos founded The Israel Innovation Fund (TIIF) to tantalize young adults with what he calls “cultural foreplay” in the form of Israeli wine, art and music.
“Through cutting-edge contemporary culture, lifestyle and travel, young diaspora Jews and non-Jews are discovering new ways to personally connect to the Israeli experience in ways that go far beyond conflict and survival,” says Bellos, a 32-year-old serial entrepreneur living in Tel Aviv since 2012.
“Our vision is to connect people around the world through the vibrancy and creativity of contemporary Israeli culture by bringing Israel to you and then you to Israel.”
A US-registered nonprofit established in July 2017, TIIF invests in commercially viable cultural projects in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and various American cities. A portion of the returns are shared with Israeli nonprofits the TIIF team has pegged as innovative, high-impact and efficient.
TIIF’s flagship project is Wine on the Vine, a modern twist on traditional tree planting.
The online purchaser can choose to plant any number of grapevines, at $18 each, in any participating Israeli winery and also chooses a participating charity to benefit from the purchase. Later that year, anyone who bought at least five vines is entitled to goods from the chosen winery.
The biggest M&A news out of Israel in January 2019 was London-headquartered private equity firm Bridgepoint Advisers’ $260 million agreement to acquire Miya Water, a subsidiary of Tel Aviv-based Arison Holdings.
Amazon Web Services is acquiring CloudEndure, in a deal estimated at no less than $200 million. The cloud computing company, based in New York with R&D in Ramat Gan, develops business continuity software solutions for disaster recovery, continuous backup and live migration.
Samsung signed a deal to acquire Tel Aviv-based smartphone camera company Corephotonics for a reported, but unconfirmed, sum of $150-$160 million.
Keystone Dental of Massachusetts, the largest independent dental implant company in North America, will merge via a stock-exchange transaction with Paltop Advanced Dental Solutions of Caesarea.
Paltop does precision manufacturing of state-of-the-art digital implant dentistry solutions. Accelmed Growth Partners of Herzliya and New York will add $20 million in capital investment to the merged entity.
Ever chose “X-ray vision” as your choice of a hypothetical superpower?
Israel-based Augmedics Ltd. has developed a set of goggles giving surgeons X-ray-like visualization capabilities.
Augmedics is creating an augmented reality headset for surgical procedures. Called xvision, the headset projects X-ray-like 3D visualization of the patient in real time, allowing surgeons to “see” through the patient’s skin, muscle tissue, and bone.
The imaging is projected onto the surgeons’ retina using the transparent display headset, allowing surgeons to simultaneously look at their patient and see the necessary navigation data without averting their eyes to a remote screen.
The headset is intended for use in surgeries where a reference to a rigid anatomical structure, like the spine or the pelvis, can be identified.
Clinical trials of the headset in minimally invasive spine surgeries have been underway in Israel since August, Augmedics’ CEO Nissan Elimelech said in a Tuesday interview with Calcalist. So far the device has been used in six surgeries.
Streaming giant Hulu has purchased the Israeli TV series Juda, about a Jewish vampire.
Hulu has bought the both the show itself, as well as rights to an American remake of the series.
The show, which first aired in Israel on HOT in 2017, was created, written and stars comedian Zion Baruch. It tells the story of Juda, a small-time Israeli criminal who makes his money playing poker in Romania with funds from bigger-time French criminals. But on a trip to Bucharest, Juda has an unpleasant encounter with a Romanian vampire pretending to be a prostitute, which sets him on a disturbing course of events. Romanian vampires, it turns out, are not allowed to bite Jews, and she has brought shame and misfortune to her family.
The show also features a recurring rabbinic motif and all sorts of references to biblical and Talmudic texts, as well as kabbalistic motifs.
“It is incredibly exciting to be connected to the place that created A Handmaid’s Tale,” Baruch wrote on Instagram on Monday. “Thank you to HOT for believing in me and letting me and director Meni [Yaish] go nuts.”
The show also stars Amos Tamam (Srugim), Ilanit Levi and Yiddish theater legend Mike Burstyn.
Nadav Hanin, HOT’s vice president of content, told Variety that the deal underscored the fact that “excellent content truly has no borders.”
The Shalva Band won’t be competing at this year’s Eurovision. But, thanks to the KAN public broadcaster, it will be appearing at the international song contest after all – in a special appearance during the second semi-final.
A spokeswoman for KAN told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday that it invited the band to appear as an interval act during the show, which will be held live on May 16 in Tel Aviv.
On Tuesday, the musical group – made up mostly of young adults with disabilities – informed TV network Keshet that it would be dropping out of Hakochav Haba, the show that selects Israel’s Eurovision contestant.
Though the group had already earned a spot in the show’s finale, which is set to air live on February 12, The Shalva Band dropped out of the competition for religious reasons. The winner of the show is obligated to participate in a live, filmed rehearsal for the Eurovision finale which will take place on Shabbat, and several members of the group are religiously observant.
Though appeals were made to the European Broadcasting Union to bend its rules, the EBU would not promise any concessions could be made, and The Shalva Band is slated to officially leave Hakochav Haba in an episode airing Thursday evening.
While the Eurovision finale is slated for Saturday night, the competition’s second semi-final held on a Thursday evening, and there are no rehearsals scheduled for Shabbat.
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