Bar Refaeli to co-host Eurovision in Tel Aviv with Arab-Israeli poet


(JTA) — Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli and three local celebrities will host this year’s Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv.

Friday’s announcement by the European Broadcasting Union followed the Israeli Broadcasting Corp.’s decision to allow Refaeli to host the event in May even though prosecutors recommended last year that she be indicted for tax fraud.

If Refaeli is indicted ahead of the contest, she will not be allowed to host, organizers said.

Joining Refaeli as a host will be Lucy Ayoub, an Arab-Israeli poet and cultural affairs reporter for the Israeli Broadcasting Corp. Her mother was born to Jewish Holocaust survivors and converted to Christianity before marrying Ayoub’s Arab-Christian father. Television hosts Erez Tal and Asi Azar also will co-host.

Israel is hosting Eurovision after winning last year’s competition with Netta Barzilai’s song “Toy.”

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