Israeli pop star Omer Adam has declined to perform at this year’s Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv because he would have to work on Shabbat.
Adam was invited to open the show, scheduled for the evening of Saturday May 18, by Israeli public broadcaster KAN.
The rehearsals will take place in the run-up to the show, will also clash with Shabbat.
Israel won the right to host the 2019 Eurovision song contest after Netta Barzilai won the 2018 edition, which took place in Lisbon, Portugal.
Although Mr Adam is not religiously observant, the 25-year-old has in the past made a point of not working on Shabbat, JTA reports.
A statement issued by his representatives read: “After a meeting between the sides, because rehearsals for the finale would be held on Shabbat, Omer decided – despite the great honour – not to take part in the event.
“He thanks them from the bottom of his heart for approaching him.”
Mr Adam, known for his blend of Mizrachi and Western pop music, first rose to prominence on the Kokhav Nolad singing contest, akin to the British Pop Idol.