“The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event.”. This is one of the most famous rules of the EBU music competition. According to this rule, participating television stations are responsible for ensuring that “in no case is it politicized and/or instrumentalized and/or otherwise discredited.” This year, as happened with Russia and Ukraine, it appears that this norm will no longer be respected.The armed conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip continues to mark the road to Malmö 2024.

In this Eurovision pre-season, Israel’s participation remains a major point of contention between followers, singers, composers and the participating delegations themselves. The controversy intensifies with every detail, evidence or video of military action in Palestine, and with them requests not to appear on the festival stage.

The Jewish country is responding to these comments by demonstrating their willingness to take their “narrative” to the Eurovision stage, something they are not hiding publicly. A few days ago, the KAN TV channel gave an interview Eden Hansonprofessional jury of the Israeli selection, who spoke about one of the goals of his candidacy under the leadership of Eden Golan for Malmö 2024. “You have to remember that behind every word you say there is a very, very big meaning,” he said.

“We have 136 kidnapped people who are now in Gaza. She needs to be told about all the victims who have fallen here during this crazy period. He needs to tell the Israeli story and narrative. We need it”, said the Israeli singer-songwriter. “Now we have to choose a song that reflects our situation and shows the world that we are here to stay,” said the Israeli public television journalist who filmed the video.

A few weeks ago, Assi Hazard, presenter of Eurovision 2019 and presenter of the Israeli selection, also considered the victory of his candidacy possible due to the conflict in an interview with La Vanguardia. “Many votes will be given to Israel just as they were given to Ukraine because of the war.: international solidarity. No matter how good an Israeli song is, it will win Eurovision,” he said.

“This is a competition for broadcasters, not for governments”

The rise of voices criticizing Israel’s participation meant that the Eurovision organizer had to speak out on the matter herself. The EBU responded to the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that did not plan to exclude the Jewish country from the competition after the final list of contestants was published in early December.

“This is a competition for broadcasters, not governments, and the Israeli public broadcaster has been participating in the competition for 50 years. The EBU is a member-led organization. The governing bodies of the EBU, headed by the Board of Directors, represent the members. These authorities assessed the list of participants and determined that the Israeli public broadcaster complied with all competition rules. (…) At this moment it happens inclusive treatment of Israeli participants in major competitions”, collected the letter.

The debate did not end there, as calls for a boycott of Israel at the festival continued to grow. At the Norwegian and Finnish selections, peaceful protests in support of Palestine took place outside the venues. A spontaneous incident even interrupted one of the gala concerts of the Norwegian format: “Sorry for the interruption. There is a war going on. We can do more. Norway can do more”.

Social pressure forced the EBU to speak out again recently, at the end of January, following a question from the EFE a few days ago. His answer was reaffirm your position on Israeli participation: “We understand the concerns and deep-seated beliefs about the current conflict in the Middle East, but we are committed to ensuring that the Eurovision Song Contest remains “An apolitical event in which artists and broadcast networks compete, not governments.”.

San Remo, the latest controversy about Israel

The EBU’s position on Israel is reinforced by certain gestures from the networks participating in Eurovision 2024. Last Sunday, Italian RAI delegate-administrator Roberto Sergio published a statement, which was read out on the Domenica In program afterward, Gali said. “Stop Genocide” mid-finale of the 2024 Sanremo Festival.

“Every day our news and programs talk and will talk about the tragedy of the hostages in the hands of Hamas, and also remember the massacre of children, women and men on October 7. My solidarity felt and convinced the people of Israel and the Jewish community “This is a statement that makes no mention of the civilian population of Gaza, who are also being killed by bombs.

In our country, last December, RTVE joined the EBU when asked about its position on Israel’s participation in Eurovision 2024. “This is a music festival and our official position is that of the EBUwe don’t enter or leave, and we are going to participate,” said Ana Maria Bordas, director of the Benidorm festival and head of the Spanish delegation to the European competition.