singer Eden Golan for Israel qualified for the final despite calls for a boycott

singer Eden Golan for Israel qualified for the final despite calls for a boycott
singer Eden Golan for Israel qualified for the final despite calls for a boycott
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JESSICA GOW/TT / AFP The Israeli singer, here after the second Eurovision semi-final in Malmö, Sweden, May 9, 2024.

JESSICA GOW/TT / AFP

The Israeli singer, here after the second Eurovision semi-final in Malmö, Sweden, May 9, 2024.

EUROVISION – His appearance was particularly expected during the second semi-final of Eurovision. Young Israeli artist Eden Golan qualified for the final on Saturday in Malmö, Sweden, where thousands of people demonstrated against her participation in the competition due to the war in Gaza.

Eden Golan, 20, won her ticket Thursday evening with the song Hurricanethe initial version of which had to be modified because it alluded to the attack by the Islamist group Hamas which bloodied Israel on October 7.

Israel thus joins the group of 26 countries which will compete on Saturday to succeed Sweden as winner of this competition followed by tens of millions of viewers each year.

“I am so grateful to everyone who voted for us and supported us”said the 20-year-old Israeli. “It’s truly an honor to be here, on stage, to perform and show our voice, to present ourselves with pride”she emphasized.

Israel has participated in Eurovision since 1973, which it won for the fourth time in 2018. On Friday, the country was second favorite for the final victory behind Croatia and ahead of Switzerland, according to the betting site comparator in online Oddschecker.com.

Before the semi-final, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that his country’s candidate had “already won”. “Not only are you proudly and admirably participating in Eurovision, but you are successfully confronting a horrible wave of anti-Semitism”he said in a video message to the singer.

Nearly 12,000 people demonstrated in the host city on Thursday against Israel’s participation, expressing outrage over the war in Gaza. A new rally is planned for Saturday.

Enhanced security

Hurricane was, however, performed without a hitch or interruption on Thursday evening by Eden Golan in front of the 9,000 spectators at the Malmö Arena, exhilarated by the competition.

Inside the room, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which oversees the competition, has as usual banned any flag other than those of the participants and any banner with a political message.

Security has also been reinforced both in the Malmö Arena and in the rest of this city in southern Sweden, where the country’s largest community of Palestinian origin lives and where Palestinian flags rub shoulders with brightly colored pennants.

“The EBU is taking all necessary precautions to make this a safe and united place for all”congratulated Eden Golan after the semi-final, who was the subject of threats on social networks.

On Belgian television, Thursday evening’s semi-final was briefly interrupted on VRT by a message of support for Palestine, broadcast by a union of the channel. “This is a union action. We condemn the human rights violations committed by the State of Israel. Additionally, the State of Israel is destroying press freedom. This is why we briefly interrupt the image »could we read in Dutch on this message, as reported The Parisian.

The neutrality of the telehook was also shaken up on Tuesday during the first semi-final by the Swedish singer Eric Saade, who wore a Palestinian keffiyeh around his arm. A gesture regretted by the EBU and by Swedish public television SVT, who claim the apolitical nature of this popular meeting.

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