Given that Israel is waging a horrific assault on Gaza, there is growing demand on the Eurovision Song Contest organizers to bar Israel from participating in 2024.
Israel’s involvement in the competition, according to a letter sent by over 20 legislators to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on Tuesday, “whitewashes a regime that is carrying out ethnic cleansing in Palestine and committing war crimes and genocide.”
Among those who signed the letter are lawmakers from Spanish left-wing Podemos party as well as members of the EU Parliament. Following Swedish artist Loreen’s win last year, the annual competition is scheduled to be held in May at Sweden’s Malmo Arena.
The MPs who sent the letter noted that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), an association of public media outlets, desires that Eurovision stay a politically neutral event. “However, the Eurovision Song Contest did veto Russia’s participation in the contest from 2022 in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Also, in 2019, Iceland was fined by the festival organizers because the Icelandic contestant displayed a Palestinian flag at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.”
They said that Israel’s involvement is obviously at odds with what the EBU purports to stand for, as it misrepresents Israel and hides its genocidal actions.
This year, 37 nations are expected to take part in Eurovision. In 1973, Israel became the first non-European nation to take part, and in 2019, Tel Aviv served as the host city for the pop culture event. Every EBU member is eligible to enter the competition.
In addition to European lawmakers, Swedish musicians, Finnish artists, and demonstrators from Norway and Ireland have written to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) pleading with public broadcasters to remove Israel from the competition.
In the meantime, Iceland is thinking twice about competing if Israel is permitted to do so this year. The EBU did not react to requests for response.
Millions of people watch and love the worldwide music competition known as Eurovision, which debuted in 1956. However, some supporters this year declared that should Israel be permitted to compete, they would switch off their TVs and boycott the competition in solidarity with the boycotters of Israel.
It was appropriate that Russia was barred from the song competition the day following their invasion of Ukraine. Participation by Israel normalizes the state’s homicidal practices and strengthens Israeli exceptionalism.
According to reports, Israel will declare its admission on Tuesday.
A campaign was launched by human rights activists in Ireland with the goal of pressuring RTE, the country’s Eurovision Song Contest representative channel, to urge the EBU to exclude Israel.