February 25, 2024

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From Norway to Iceland: Resistance to Israel's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest grows |  music

From Norway to Iceland: Resistance to Israel's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest grows | music

musicPressure is increasing from various quarters on organizing the Eurovision Song Contest to not allow Israel to participate in the song festival. On social media, the music scene's official account was filled with messages with the phrase “#banisrael” in the comments. There were protests outside at Norway's national Eurovision Song Contest, and one person even managed to disrupt the show with a “boycott Israel” statement.

After the outbreak of war in Israel, the Eurovision Song Contest was also in a difficult situation. The biggest music show in the world does not want to be a political event, but it regularly withdraws from it due to developments taking place in the world. Let us take the war in Ukraine as an example. Russia was ruled out as an aggressor and Ukraine won the song festival with a record score, partly due to viewer sympathy for the country.

The situation in Israel is complex. Hamas' attack on Israel has been widely condemned. However, the state's response and attacks on Gaza are also condemnable. Just as Russia was not allowed to participate when it invaded Ukraine, Israel is now blocked from participating because of the attacks on Gaza, critics say. That is why there are now repeated calls for a boycott.

There is a war going on and we can do more

A demonstrator at the Norwegian National Song Contest

Petition against Israeli participation

Many participating countries are concerned about Israel's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Malmö in May. In Finland, a group of 1,300 musicians signed a petition against Israel's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. The International Eurovision Fan Club in Iceland has appealed not to participate in the music event if Israel also participates.

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The protests were most intense at Melodi Grand Prix 2024. Demonstrations took place outside the studio before the shows. The second semi-final was brutally disrupted by a protester during the live broadcast. During one of the interviews, she appeared on screen carrying the Palestinian flag and a T-shirt reading “Boycott Israel.” “There is a war going on and we can do more. Norway must do more,” she said. The same evening, other protests broke out at the entrance to the studio.

Read more including the response from Eurovision under the tweet.

Despite the protests, the European Broadcasting Union has no intention of banning Israel from participating in the Eurovision Song Contest, the organization said in a response to this website. “It is a competition for broadcasters – not governments – and Israel’s public broadcaster has been participating in the festival for fifty years. The European Broadcasting Union is committed to ensuring that the Eurovision Song Contest remains a non-political event that unites audiences around the world through music.

The European Broadcasting Union joins other organizations

The European Broadcasting Union states that the 2024 entry list has been revised and that Israeli broadcaster KAN meets all competition rules to participate in Malmö. “The EBU joins other international organisations, including sports federations, federations and other international bodies, which have maintained their comprehensive stance towards Israeli participants in major competitions at this time.”

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