'Israel' faces Eurovision backlash over Gaza war, calls for boycott


Published: 2024-02-03 12:39

Last Updated: 2024-06-20 10:22

'Israel' faces Eurovision backlash over Gaza war, calls for boycott
'Israel' faces Eurovision backlash over Gaza war, calls for boycott

"Israel" is facing a Eurovision — an international song competition organized annually by the European Broadcasting Union — backlash due to its military campaign in Gaza, receiving criticism from musicians and the public.

Calls for a boycott are growing, reminiscent of the politicized nature of the contest in recent years, such as Russia's expulsion in 2022.

In Sweden, over 1,000 musicians, including Robyn, penned an open letter to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), accusing it of hypocrisy regarding the Gaza "humanitarian catastrophe."

Finnish artists are urging their public broadcaster to pressure the EBU, arguing against giving a stage to a country involved in war crimes and military occupation.

EBU Director General Noel Curran affirmed that the Israeli Occupation met all the competition rules for the 2024 Eurovision Contest.

This aligns with the stance of other international organizations that have maintained inclusivity towards "Israeli" participants in major competitions at this time, according to EBU Director General Noel Curran.

However, public broadcasters, constituting the EBU's membership, are facing pressure. Sweden's national public television broadcaster SVT, the host of the competition, has urged the EBU to make a definitive decision on participant eligibility. While acknowledging and respecting groups voicing their concerns, SVT emphasized the need for clarity.

Ireland's RTÉ received nearly 500 emails urging withdrawal from the event if the Israeli Occupation were to participate. Palestinian sympathizers protested outside Norway's NKR, demanding exclusion, while Iceland's RÚV deferred a decision on joining this year's contest until after completing its national selection process, featuring a Palestinian singer.

Israeli Occupation's ambassador to Sweden, Ziv Nevo, argued against boycotting "Israel", stating that such calls support Hamas and equate to putting a price on terrorism. He emphasized keeping politics out of Eurovision.