‘Kick Israel Out’ – Eurovision Song Contest Urged to Boycott Israel

Eurovision semifinal in 2022. (Photo: Michael Doherty, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The Eurovision Song Contest is facing growing calls for a boycott after Israel announced its representative this week, the British Independent newspaper reported yesterday. 

Israel’s representative at the event is announced to be Eden Golan. Golan was chosen after performing Aerosmith’s song, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”, which she dedicated to the Israeli prisoners held by the Palestinian Resistance in Gaza. 

“Golan, who was born in Israel but raised in Russia, would mark the country’s 46th appearance in the competition, Israel being the first non-European entrant in the competition’s history when it joined in 1973,” the Independent reported. 

However, due to the ongoing Israeli genocide in the Strip, the song contest organizers are reportedly facing growing calls to have Israel kicked out. 

Joy not Genocide 

Iceland’s Association of Composers and Lyricists also called last month for Israel to be suspended from the EuroVision competition in a statement saying its participation in an event “characterized by joy and optimism” would be incompatible with its military actions.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 27,947 Palestinians have been killed, and 67,459 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. Moreover, at least 8,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Icelandic association had said they would be opposing their country’s inclusion in the contest unless Israel is disqualified and a petition calling for the same gathered over 10,000 signatures, according to the British newspaper.

“Iceland isn’t alone in its condemnation as musicians from multiple countries including Sweden, Finland and Denmark called for the country (Israel) to be pulled from the competition,” the Independent reported. 

“Over 1,400 music industry professionals in Finland have signed a petition to ban (Israel), accusing their national broadcaster of double standards as it was among the first to demand a ban on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.”

The campaign has been gaining momentum ever since. It has been strengthened by Danish and Norwegian musicians, who composed letters along with Swedish artists, including Robyn, Fever Ray and First Aid King. The letters accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza. 

EBU Hypocrisy 

In response, the contest organizer, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) claimed that “the Eurovision Song Contest is a competition for public service broadcasters from across Europe and the Middle East. It is a competition for broadcasters – not governments – and the Israeli public broadcaster has participated in the contest for 50 years.” 

“The Eurovision Song Contest remains a non-political event that unites audiences worldwide through music.”

These claims, however, were not consistent with recent events. 

“In 2022, Russia was banned from taking part in the competition following its military action in Ukraine following criticism from a number of countries for it to be suspended. It did not return to the competition following its exit,” the Independent reported. 

‘Boycott 2024 Eurovision Song Contest’ – Iceland Musicians Demand

“This is not just everyday western hypocrisy,” Dr. Ramzy Baroud, a Palestinian academic and author said. “When a western institution goes out of its way to normalize Israel at a time when the Israeli army is carrying out the most horrific killing campaigns in recent memory, this makes this institution, EBU, or any other, an enabler of Israeli propaganda.” 

Baroud, who lost many members of his family in the genocidal Israeli war on Gaza said that “we are are not expecting the EuroVision to change the events on the ground, but every effort, however miniscule, could put pressure on Israel to finally quit the killing of tens of thousands of innocent civilians.” 

“I commend the artists who have taken a stance on the matter, and call on all others to follow suit. Morality and justice are not divisible, and while we cannot always change outcomes of horrible events such as the war on Gaza, the least we can do is to take a moral stance.”    

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmo, Sweden in May this year.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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