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Eurovision Music Contest: Calls to ban Israel develop – piling stress on European broadcasters | Ents & Arts Information

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Stress is mounting on European broadcasters to boycott Israel’s participation within the Eurovision Music Contest due to the warfare in Gaza.

Greater than 27,000 individuals have been killed in Israeli navy motion, and over 66,000 have been injured since the conflict started, in line with Gaza‘s Hamas-led well being ministry. Israel retaliated after Hamas fighters killed greater than 1,000 Israelis and took lots of of hostages in assaults on 7 October final 12 months.

It is the second time politics has dominated Eurovision, after Russia was expelled from the 2022 contest over its invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine went on to win the competitors.

Ukrainian rap-folk group Kalush Orchestra received in 2022

Iceland is among the many nations contemplating whether or not to take part this 12 months. It has stated it’s going to determine whether or not or not to participate solely as soon as its consultant is chosen, with the method kicking off tonight.

The Icelandic Broadcasting Authority, RUV, shared a message on its web site, saying: “No determination might be made concerning Iceland’s participation in Eurovision till after the competition, and after session with the winner.

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“The reason being the criticism that has arisen concerning Israel‘s participation within the contest, regardless of the warfare in Gaza.”

Iceland’s televised choice course of, that includes 10 songs and artists, takes one month, with the outcomes introduced on 2 March. One of many contestants, Bashar Murad, is Palestinian.

In the meantime, in Sweden greater than 1,000 musicians – together with Dancing On My Personal singer Robyn – have written an open letter to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) which organises Eurovision and SVT, which is the nation’s host broadcaster, accusing them of “double requirements”.

Flagging Russia’s earlier exclusion from the competition, the Swedish musicians stated it was their “obligation” as cultural practitioners to “result in change and counter artwashing”.

The letter concluded: “Permitting Israel’s participation undermines not solely the spirit of the competitors however the complete public service mission. It additionally sends the sign that governments can commit warfare crimes with out penalties. Subsequently, we attraction to the EBU: Exclude Israel from the Eurovision Music Contest 2024.”

Loreen of Sweden celebrates with the trophy after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, England, Saturday, May 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
This 12 months’s competitors might be held in Malmo, Sweden. Pic: AP/Martin Meissner

Over 1,500 artists in Finland have additionally urged their public broadcaster, Yle, to affix the calls on the EBU to exclude Israel, calling it “a rustic that commits warfare crimes”.

The Finnish artists added {that a} nation which “continues a navy occupation” shouldn’t get “a public stage to shine its picture within the identify of music”.

Irish broadcaster RTE has additionally acquired a petition signed by greater than 500 individuals setting out related calls for.

In Norway final month, semi-naked protesters knelt within the snow in entrance of the nation’s public broadcaster NRK to additionally demand Israel’s exclusion from Eurovision.

And in Spain, the chief of the left-wing celebration Podemos, Ione Belarra, has known as on the Spanish Congress to debate the removing of Israel from the competitors as a part of “a stress tactic to halt the genocide in opposition to Palestinian individuals”.

She has registered a non-legal proposal to request the talk, which if permitted would urge the Spanish authorities to “place itself clearly in opposition to Israel’s participation within the Eurovision Music Contest”.

The EBU, which is a member-led organisation, headed by an government board, says Eurovision is a non-political occasion.

It provides that Israel’s public broadcaster, KAN, “meets all of the competitors guidelines and might take part within the contest subsequent 12 months”.

The EBU has additionally stated Russia’s ban resulted from “persistent breaches of membership obligations and the violation of public service media values” by Russian broadcasters. Its relationship with KAN is “basically totally different”, the EBU added.

Olly Alexander, of music act Years & Years, will represent the UK on this 12 months’s competitors.

Alexander has additionally taken a public stance in opposition to Israel, and signed an open letter from LGBTQ+ activist group Voices4London, which known as for a ceasefire in Gaza and for Israel to permit help into the world.

Olly Alexander poses for photographers upon arrival for 'An Audience with Kylie' at the Royal Albert Hall, in London, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (Photo by Millie Turner/Invision/AP)
Olly Alexander. Pic: Millie Turner/Invision/AP

Noa Kirel, a former Israel Defence Forces soldier, represented Israel at Eurovision in Liverpool in 2023, ending in fourth place.

This 12 months’s competitors might be held in Malmo, Sweden, after Loreen won the competition for a second time. The ultimate might be held on 11 Might.

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