“People hate us”: Israeli fans rail against Eurovision

“People hate us”: Israeli fans rail against Eurovision
“People hate us”: Israeli fans rail against Eurovision

“Clearly political”: Eden Golan fans gathered on Saturday evening in Tel Aviv to watch the Eurovision final have difficulty digesting the defeat of the Israeli candidate. They believe the vote was biased due to the war in the Gaza Strip.

A victory for Israel has always seemed unlikely, given the controversy surrounding its participation in Eurovision while its army continues to bomb and besiege the Gaza Strip. Thousands of musicians around the world had asked, in vain, for the country to be excluded from the competition (archives).

KEYSTONE

However, the atmosphere was high in the packed Layla bar when Eden Golan appeared on screen with her long lavender hair and matching nails and began singing “Hurricane”. Her white muslin dress billowed in the artificial wind while smoke engulfed the stage.

While the singer was performing, many customers at Layla, which self-proclaimed “the best gay bar in Tel Aviv,” began to dream of an Israeli victory in this competition.

The ace. When the votes began to roll in and it became clear that few jurors representing the 37 countries were offering their votes to Israel, morale began to plummet. Those who a few minutes earlier were jumping around waving Israeli flags are now seated, some with their heads in their hands.

“People hate us”

“It’s clearly political,” complains Guy, a 20-year-old young man who refuses to give his last name so as not to let his family learn that he went to a gay bar. “Eden was great. But there are people who hate us. They don’t see the general context,” he regrets.

“We didn’t get much from the countries. “It’s obviously a political question,” says Tal Shur, Layla’s manager. “No one wants to show support.” In the days leading up to the competition, Israel had become one of the bookies’ favorites, alongside Croatia and Switzerland. It was the latter who ended up winning.

The national juries, whose vote counted for half, largely snubbed Israel. But the public vote, which counted for the other half, gave Eden Golan a spectacular boost, catapulting her from the depths of the rankings to a respectable fifth place.

This news has given new enthusiasm to Layla fans. “When Israel received this large number of points, I felt very happy because it is about music and not politics,” confides to AFP Nelly Bernardi, 41, who judges that the juries’ vote nationals was, on the contrary, “a shame”.

Edited song

A victory for Israel has always seemed unlikely, given the controversy surrounding its participation in Eurovision while its army continues to bomb and besiege the Gaza Strip. Thousands of musicians around the world had asked, in vain, for the country to be excluded from the competition.

The war began with the unprecedented attack launched by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas against Israel, which left more than 1,170 dead, mostly civilians, according to an AFP report based on official Israeli data. More than 250 people have been kidnapped and 128 are still missing, of whom 36 are believed to have died, according to the army.

In response, Israel promised to annihilate Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. Its offensive in the Gaza Strip left at least 34,971 dead, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health. The song “Hurricane” by Eden Golan is an adaptation of an earlier version entitled “October Rain”, which had to be modified because it was considered by the organizers to allude to the Hamas attack.

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