Eurovision thrown into chaos as Iceland objects to Israel’s participation

Moment Sweden announced as winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2023

The Eurovision Song Contest faces a quandary as Iceland’s participation looks unlikely in the 2024 contest unless Israel is disqualified due to their part in the current Israel-Hamas war. The Association of Composers and Lyricists of Iceland, the FTT, has objected to their country taking part in the contest unless Israel is banned.

They made a statement on their Facebook page, announcing that they had formally requested the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RÚV) to refrain from participating in Eurovision. They cited the example of Russia being excluded from the contest in 2022 following its invasion of Ukraine.

They emphasised it is important to take a stand against war and the loss of innocent lives, and asserted that choices must be made to withdraw participation from events that clash with their values as individuals and as a nation. has contacted a representative for the Eurovision Song Contest for comment.

Earlier this week, the organisers of the contest, the European Broadcasting Union, stated in a letter to a Belgian newspaper that the Israel Broadcasting Authority adheres to all competition rules and should not be banned from participating. They stressed that Eurovision is a competition between public broadcasters and not governments, with Israeli public broadcasting having participated for five decades.

READ MORE: Slade’s Noddy Holder shuts down Freddie Mercury rumour

They also pointed out that Israel participates in other international competitions without exclusion saying that Eurovision remains an apolitical event, uniting audiences worldwide.

They made a similar statement when initial calls were made by the Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC to ban Russia from the competition in 2022. Initially, it did not seem as if they were going to agree as it states that it is a “non-political cultural event”.

But following mounting pressure from fans, performers and broadcasters, they made the decision to exclude Russia after all. In a statement at the time, the EBU explained: “The decision reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s contest would bring the competition into disrepute.

“Before making this decision the EBU took time to consult widely among its membership. The EBU is an apolitical member organisation of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service.

“We remain dedicated to protecting the values of a cultural competition which promotes international exchange and understanding, brings audiences together, celebrates diversity through music and unites Europe on one stage.”


Don’t miss…
Stacey Solomon urges ‘don’t judge’ as she returns to singing 14 years later[WATCH]
Strictly runner-up Susanna Reid’s warning to this year’s stars[INSIGHT]
BBC viewers slam Michelle Mone’s ‘car crash’ interview with Laura Kuenssberg[OPINION]

  • Support fearless journalism
  • Read The Daily Express online, advert free
  • Get super-fast page loading

Russian state media Channel One, VGTRK and Radio Dom Ostankino, which were part of the EBU, terminated their memberships shortly afterwards.

Their media platforms later stated that they believed this was an “inappropriate political sacrifice at a music forum that has always emphasised its non-political status”.

Next year’s contest will take in Malmo in Sweden, following Loreen’s 2023 victory for Sweden.

The UK will be represented by Olly Alexander who announced the news during the Strictly Come Dancing final on Saturday night.


Source: Read Full Article