Eden Golan, Israel's contestant for Eurovision 2024 (Photo: X) (Photo: X)
eden golan

Related:

Eurovision organizers strongly denounce the online abuse, including a death threat, directed at Israeli contestant Eden Golan.

By Shiryn Ghermezian, Algemeiner

The organizer of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest on Tuesday condemned the social media abuse and harassment that contestants have been facing for participating in this year’s international competition amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas terrorists controlling the Gaza Strip.

Jean Philip De Tender, deputy director general of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), said in a statement that although the EBU “acknowledges the depth of feeling and the strong opinions” regarding this year’s Eurovision as war rages on in the Middle East, the union condemns the harassment that some participating artists have been experiencing. The online abuse reportedly includes death threats targeting Eden Golan, Israel’s representative in the Eurovision contest this year.

“While we strongly support freedom of speech and the right to express opinions in a democratic society, we firmly oppose any form of online abuse, hate speech, or harassment directed at our artists or any individuals associated with the contest. This is unacceptable and totally unfair, given the artists have no role in this decision,” the EBU explained. The union added that it is “dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment for all participants, staff, and fans of the Eurovision Song Contest,” which will take place this year in Malmö, Sweden.

“We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to promote the values of respect, inclusivity, and understanding, both online and offline,” the statement further noted. “We urge everyone to engage in respectful and constructive dialogue and support the artists who are working tirelessly — on what is a music and entertainment show — to share their music with the world.”

For months, anti-Israel activists and supporters of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state tried unsuccessfully to pressure the EBU to remove Israel from this year’s Eurovision contest. They also failed in convincing participating artists, including the United Kingdom’s Olly Alexander, to boycott Israel’s involvement in the competition by pulling out of the song contest.

EBU Director General Noel Curran explained in January that the contest is a “non-political music event and a competition between public service broadcasters who are members of the EBU.” He said organizers “agreed that the Israeli public broadcaster Kan met all the competition rules for this year and can participate as it has for the past 50 years.” Kan is a member of the EBU.

De Tender reiterated on Tuesday the EBU’s decision to keep Israel in the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest.

“The decision to include any broadcaster, including the Israeli broadcaster Kan, in the Eurovision Song Contest is the sole responsibility of the EBU’s governing bodies and not that of the individual artists,” he said. “These artists come to Eurovision to share their music, culture, and the universal message of unity through the language of music. The EBU has previously explained the reasoning for the inclusion of Kan and the differences between them as an independent broadcaster and previous participants who were excluded.”

The finals for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest will take place on May 11 in Malmö, and Golan is competing with a song renamed Hurricane. The track’s original lyrics and song title, October Rain, were initially disqualified by the EBU for being too political since the song referenced the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel.

Do You Love Israel? Make a Donation to Show Your Support!

Donate to vital charities that protect Israelis and help inspire millions around the world to support Israel too!

Now more than ever, Israel needs your help to fight and win the war -- and also the battle of public opinion.

Anti-Israel bias and boycotts are out of control. Israel's enemies effectively use social media to incite brutal terror against innocent Israeli civilians. Please help us fight back!

HELP DEFEND THE TRUTH - MAKE A DONATION TODAY