Executives of Eurovision Denounce Participants’ Cyberbullying

“Unacceptable and totally unfair” is the word used by the Eurovision Song Contest organisers to describe the backlash against Israeli singers who have performed at the event.

In May, the tournament will be held in Sweden, despite demands that Israel be banned due to its war in Gaza.

Calls for participants to boycott the competition have been rebuffed by a number of them, including Olly Alexander of the UK.

The Israeli territory of Eden Golan has allegedly been the target of death threats.

According to celebrity news website Walla Celebs, the 20-year-old has gotten multiple direct messages on Instagram.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the singer is expected to have an increased number of security guards when arriving in Malmo, Sweden.

The European Broadcasting Union, the organiser of Eurovision, has recognised the intense emotions and strong opinions that this year’s Eurovision song contest has stirred up, given the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

“Although we are staunch advocates of freedom of speech and the ability to voice opinions in a democratic society, we are resolutely against any kind of online abuse, hate speech, or harassment aimed at our artists or any individuals connected to the contest,” the statement stated further.

Jean Philip De Tender, deputy director general of the European Broadcasting Union, emphasised that the EBU’s governing bodies were solely responsible for the decision to include Israel’s participation, highlighting that it was not the individual artists’ responsibility.

“It is important for everyone to participate in a respectful and constructive conversation and show support for the hardworking artists who are dedicated to sharing their music with the world,” he emphasised.

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The UK will be represented by Olly Alexander with the song Dizzy

Israel’s public broadcaster, Kan, is a member of the EBU, which grants it the privilege to take part in the contest.

Despite the calls for suspension, the organisers have stood firm, emphasising that the show is not meant to be a competition between governments.

Nevertheless, the EBU compelled Israel to alter the lyrics of Golan’s song October Rain due to their determination that the original version contained excessive political content.

The initial release was widely regarded as a nod to the 7 October Hamas attacks on Israel, with multiple lyrics honouring the victims.

Kan initially resisted altering the song, expressing a preference to withdraw from the contest. However, Israel’s President, Isaac Herzog, subsequently urged for “necessary adjustments” to enable the country’s participation.

Now renamed Hurricane, the captivating piano ballad is currently ranked ninth among the favourites to win the competition, according to bookmakers.

Nevertheless, it is highly improbable that Israel’s involvement will pass unnoticed during the upcoming event in the following month.

Swedish police are getting ready for several protests in Malmo during the competition, while nine competitors have urged for a prompt and enduring ceasefire in Gaza.

The statement, signed by Olly Alexander, Ireland’s Bambi Thug and Danish entrant Saba, among others, was issued in response to requests for musicians to refrain from participating in the event.

“We strongly believe in the unifying power of music, allowing individuals to rise above disparities and cultivate significant dialogues and relationships,” expressed the artists.

One individual who has withdrawn from the competition, however, is Gísli Marteinn, Iceland’s commentator with a long-standing tenure.

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The TV personality and former politician, who has hosted 15 editions of the song contest, revealed his decision on Instagram, expressing disappointment with the organisers’ response to the situation in Gaza.

“To me, Eurovision lacks the atmosphere and joy that I usually associate with the competition,” he expressed.

Last year, Sweden emerged victorious in the Eurovision Song Contest held in Liverpool. Pop star Loreen secured her second trophy for her captivating electro-ballad Tattoo.

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