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If Israel don't compete in 2018, will Arab nations compete in Eurovision?

When long-time Israeli spokesperson Ofer Shalom announced live that Israel was unlikely be back (as part of the current broadcaster anyway) there was a collective shock across Eurovision nations. Israel has competed 39 times and had 3 champions - their absence would be felt.

The doubts over the nation competing are due to the public broadcasting station IBA closing and being replaced with a new station, Kan next week. The problem is, Kan will not be showing news which means it's no eligible to be a member of the EBU - something that's needed to compete in Eurovision.

​​However this does raise a question... will some Arab nations who are eligible to take part as members of the EBU compete if Israel are absent?

Famously Lebanon was ready to compete in 2005, but after much back and forth, withdrew due to the nation's ban on airing Israel television content. A song was even selected,'Quand Tout S'enfuit' - a French language song which is actually really quite good. A shame they didn't compete!

Though it must be noted it hasn't stopped other majority Muslim nations like Turkey (numerous times including a win in 2003) and Morocco (1980 below) competing in the past.

So who is eligible to compete? In North Africa and the Middle East Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan are members of the EBU and in theory are able to take the Eurovision stage.

​​We would personally love to see the contest expand with these nations , however... we wouldn't want it to be based on the fact that Israel forced out because of broadcasting issues.

Though if it means opening a door to a future where they can all compete side by side with Israel, it may be worth it?

Well... we're not exactly sure they are even eligible (nations must be televising the contest as well) and we understand the EBU are very keen to get Israel back into the competition.

Only time will tell....

What do you think? Do you want to see Arab nations take part, should it be on the back of Israeli problems? Let us know on Twitter at @aussievisionnet

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