Tonight was the final broadcast from the Israeli Broadcasting Authority (IBA). As jury spokesman Ofer Shalom announced the results of a jury vote, he suggested Israel may no longer take part.
After reminding viewers of Israel’s three wins, he went on to make an emotional announcement, saying: “Tonight is our final night, shortly IBA will shut down its broadcasting forever, so on behalf of all of us here in IBA, let me say thank you Europe for all the magical moments and the beautiful years. And hopefully we shall meet again in the future.”
Benjamin Netanyahu’s government closed down Israel’s public broadcasting channel with little warning. It will be replaced by a new station, known as Kan, next week. The new channel won’t be airing news, which makes it ineligible to join the EBU. Most programming ended some days back. Eurovision was to be the last programme aired. With matters still up in the air, it is hoped to find some way to retain EBU membership for Kan or a subsidiary.
Israel has been competing regularly in the competition since 1973. Immediately after the show, the channel stopped broadcasting entirely, ending its 49-year run.