Eurovision banned Palestinian flags and symbols

Eurovision organizers said they reserve the right to remove Palestinian flags and pro-Palestinian symbols during next week’s contest in Malmö, Sweden.

Alexander, who arrived in the UK this year, signed last December calling Israel an “apartheid state” and accusing it of genocide.

The tournament’s head of communications argued that ticket buyers would only be allowed to display the flags of competing countries, including Israel, and the Pride flag.

“Ban” anything reminiscent of Palestine?

In a statement to The Associated Press, they also said that “clothing, objects or posters that can be used as media to be shown on television screens” with pro-Palestinian symbols could be banned.

1,000 Swedish artists have called for Israel’s ban this year, including Robyn, Fever Ray and First Aid Kit, while more than 1,400 Finnish music industry professionals have signed a petition to ban the country from the competition as well.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations are expected to protest Israel’s controversial participation in the tournament following Israel’s bloody war on Gaza, which has been ongoing since October following a Hamas attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people.

Protesters are expected to gather in the center of Malmö, several kilometers from the Eurovision venue.

Israel’s involvement is also controversial. Originally titled ‘October Rain’, the song – performed by Eden Golan – contained references to the victims of the October 7 Hamas attack and was banned for violating political neutrality rules – following a storm of backlash.

Strong criticism of Israel’s participation

Although Israel initially threatened to withdraw from the competition if the changes were made, Israeli President Isaac Herzog called for the “necessary adjustments” to ensure Israel’s participation, leading public broadcaster KAN to agree to the song’s change.

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On March 9, Israel’s entry into the competition was confirmed after changes were made to the lyrics and the title of the song was changed to “Hurricane”.

There have been many demands from various countries to boycott the competition. 1,000 Swedish artists have called for Israel’s ban this year, including Robyn, Fever Ray and First Aid Betty, while more than 1,400 Finnish music professionals have signed a petition to ban the country from the competition as well.

Ahead of the 2024 event, individual artists such as Ollie Alexander also faced calls to boycott the event. Alexander, the UK entry this year, first signed Israel last December, calling it an “apartheid state” and accusing it of genocide.

However, after receiving an open letter from a number of queer artists and people to boycott Eurovision last March, several Eurovision artists – including Ireland’s Bambi Thug, Norway’s Cote, Portugal’s Iolanda and Alexander – responded to the letter. music”.

*With info: NME | Top photo: Icelandic band Hadari raising the Palestinian flag as the results are announced Eurovision 2019 | Twitter

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