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09th May 2024

Israel Eurovision act drowned out by boos during Jury Show

Simon Kelly

There were also chants of ‘Free Palestine’.

Israel’s Eurovision act faced a barrage of boos and chants of ‘Free Palestine’ when taking to the stage for the competition’s Jury Show on Wednesday night.

The show, which takes place the night before the televised semi-final, is where entries are reviewed and scored by the respective national juries.

Israel’s inclusion in the competition has come under intense scrutiny since the attacks started on Gaza last year.

One of those in attendance of the show last night posted about their experience on X, saying that the atmosphere inside the venue during Israel’s performance was ‘horrible’.

They added that you could ‘feel the tension’.

Videos were shared across social media which show loud boos and chants during the entirety of Israel’s performance.

Israel Eurovision act drowned out by boos during Jury Show

This year, 20-year-old Israeli-Russian singer Eden Golan is representing Israel with her song ‘Hurricane’,

The song’s original title ‘October Rain’ received heavy scrutiny as it was inspired by the Hamas attack on Israel last year, which has since led to the killing of over 34,000 Palestinians by Israeli troops.

Since the song was viewed as a political message, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) demanded it be rewritten and re-worded in February.

After multiple re-writes, ‘Hurricane’ was eventually accepted on March 7 by the EBU.

There have been a number of protests in Sweden (the host country for this year’s contest) over Israel’s participation, and a pro-Palestinian march is expected to take place on Thursday, May 9.

Irish entry Bambie Thug has also come under criticism for taking part in the competition this year, despite positioning themself as pro-Palestine.

Last month, over 400 Irish artists called for Bambie Thug to boycott the event in solidarity with Palestine, including Derry Girls actor Siobhán McSweeney and singer-songwriter Erica-Cody, who competed against Bambie Thug for a place at Eurovision this year.

The Cork singer was ordered by the EBU to change their pro-Palestinian message for their semi final performance on Tuesday night.

Following their performance, the 31-year-old told a press conference they were forced to change their body paint in Ogham script, which translated to ‘ceasefire and freedom’.

Swedish act Eric Saade wore a keffiyeh, commonly used as to showed pro-Palestinian solidarity, on his arm during his semi-final opening performance on Tuesday.

The EBU said that he “chose to compromise the non-political nature of the event” and it “regrets” the broadcast.

However, Saade said after the statement that he got the keffiyeh from his father and wanted to wear something ‘authentic’ to his identity.

“Back then, I didn’t know it would one day be called a ‘political symbol’ by the EBU,” he said. “It’s like calling a Swedish dala horse a political symbol.”

Read more:

Bambie Thug ordered to change pro-Palestine message by Eurovision organisers