Israel reaches final as protests continue

Top Line

Israeli singer Eden Golan has advanced to the final round of the Eurovision Song Contest and will sing later on Saturday, as thousands of pro-Palestine protesters continue to protest in the event's host city of Malmo, Sweden, over Israel Demanding to be thrown out of the competition. -Hamas war.

important facts

Protesters, including Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, have been gathering in Malmö for several days, with a large crowd gathering on the Saturday before the final to demand Israel's expulsion and authorities on Saturday afternoon, the BBC reports. Swedish police arrested Thunberg amid the standoff. ,

The boycott started even before the competition started.

Israeli singer Eden Golan has been thrust into the center of international controversy over Israel's war in Gaza, receiving heavy security cover and security officials reportedly keeping her in her hotel room for not performing due to security concerns. Have ordered.

Dutch artist Joost Klein was expelled on Saturday morning after Swedish police investigated “a complaint made by a female member of the production crew”, and although no charges have been filed, “it is appropriate for him to remain in the competition.” Will not done”. Eurovision organizer the European Broadcasting Union.

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What time is the Eurovision final—and where is it streaming?

In the US, the Eurovision final begins at 3pm EDT. It will be streamed live on Peacock, and in some regions it will be streamed live on the Eurovision YouTube channel. A full list of broadcasters for each participating country can be found here.

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When news broke that Klein's participation in the contest was being reviewed, it led to false speculation that it might be somehow related to Golan. Tensions rose at a press conference earlier this week when Golan was asked if she believed her presence on the program posed a safety threat to other contestants and a moderator told her she did not need to answer the question. , causing Klein to scream. “Why not?” But the EBU said in its statement about Klein's exit: “Contrary to some media reports and social media speculation, no other artists or delegation members were involved in the incident.”

big number

20,000. Swedish police were expecting the same number of protesters in Malmö on Saturday, according to the Times of Israel.

what to see

According to Eurovision World, a website that tracks betting odds for the contest, Croatia is the betting favorite to win the contest, although Israel has moved up to No. 2.

main background

Pro-Palestinian protesters are calling for Israel to be kicked out of the competition and other boycotts as the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza escalates. In March, several groups of musicians pressured the contestants to boycott the contest, and nine Eurovision artists issued a joint statement calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, but refused to withdraw from the contest. The European Broadcasting Union has opposed calls for Israel to be excluded from the event, but has asked Golan to change the lyrics of her original entry song, “Hurricane”, which was inspired by the events of Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel. Was. The song was originally titled “October Rain” and included more specific allusions to the attack, but the contest required all songs to be non-political.

important quotes

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Be blessed, and know that when they scold you, we are cheering you on.” video statement Golan earlier this week at X.

chief critic

Climate activist Greta Thunberg accused Israel of “fraudulently” over its actions in Gaza, accusing the country of using the competition to distract from the alleged “genocide” of the Palestinian people.

Further reading

forbesWhat is Eurovision? A guide for confused Americans

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