Europe's televote shows support for Israel's Eden Golan at Eurovision

Over the past several months, one could be forgiven for thinking that Israel was the most hated nation on Earth. Campus camping, public disarray to raise awareness of the Gaza war, and diplomatic controversy as Israel is still trying to recover hostages taken by Hamas all contributed to the Jewish state's decline in public favor. Is.

The Eurovision Song Contest, which took place on Saturday night, also attracted such negative attention to Israel's participation. Swedish host city Malmö prepared for the Eurovision Grand Final on Saturday with a mixed feeling of excitement and nervousness over Israel's participation. Some boos were heard from the crowd before, during and after Golan's performances in Thursday's semifinals and Saturday's final, where she ultimately came in fifth place, but there were also applause and waving of Israeli flags.

In central Malmö, more than 10,000 pro-Palestinian campaigners, including climate activist Greta Thunberg, protested hours before Thursday's semi-final, waving Palestinian flags and chanting “Boycott Israel.”

Earlier on Saturday, in a dramatic turn of events, Dutch artist Joost Klein was expelled from the Eurovision Song Contest after a female member of the production crew complained to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the event. he said. a statement.

Rumors spread online that Jost's exit from the competition was related to Israeli contestant Eden Golan.

Israel's Eden Golan waves the flag during the grand final of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden on May 11, 2024. (Credit: Reuters/Leonhard Foger)

These rumors appear to have been inspired by Jost's conversation with Golan during an interview. While Golan was being advised that he did not need to answer a reporter's question about whether his presence endangered others, Klein was asked to answer “Why not?” Can be heard commenting.

However, it seems that Eden Golan was unstoppable, and his performance mesmerized many.

Israel receives 323 points from the public

Despite the loud and proud pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel camp, one might be surprised to see how well Israel fared across the board when it came to public televoting.

Israel received a total of 323 points from televoters. Here's how the points were distributed:

Israel received 12 points (maximum) from televoters in the following countries/groups: Rest of the World, Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. .

Many of these countries have large Jewish populations, but there is a slight tendency for countries with larger Jewish populations to give Israel higher scores, but the relationship is not strong enough to suggest a direct or significant effect.

Israel also received 10 points from televoters in Albania, Austria, Cyprus, Czechia, Ireland, Moldova and Slovenia. Perhaps the surprise package here is the public vote of the Irish people, who are generally not considered Israel's greatest friends.

Some smaller nations, such as San Marino and Iceland, with negligible Jewish populations still gave Israel relatively high marks, indicating that Eurovision voting is influenced by factors beyond mere demographic similarity.

The details of remaining televoters are as follows:

Israel received 8 points from televoters in Denmark, Georgia and Iceland.

Israel received 7 points from televoters in Azerbaijan, Greece and Latvia.

Israel received 6 points from televoters in Estonia.

Israel received 5 points from televoters in Malta, Norway and Poland.

Israel received 3 points from televoters in Lithuania and Serbia.

Israel received 1 point from televoters in Armenia.

Finally, Israel received 0 points from televoters in Ukraine and Croatia, indicating a lack of support or visibility in these countries.

The diverse viewpoints on Israel from different countries, some of which have almost no Jewish presence, show that despite the ongoing public noise in the pro-Palestine sector, despite the constant attacks against the Jewish state, there is a silent majority.

And this silent majority does not necessarily bring politics into the singing contest (something that Eurovision has not always been able to accomplish), nor does it hold Israeli contestants accountable for the actions of their government.

We must highlight the enduring appeal of Israel's contribution to the Eurovision stage and remember the power of music to transcend political boundaries and foster connections between people around the world. Maybe there is hope after all.

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