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Musicians urge Iceland to boycott Eurovision contest unless Israel banned

December 13, 2023 at 2:44 pm

Eurovision Song Contest logo [Pavlo Conchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

An association of musicians in Iceland is urging the country to withdraw from the 2024 Eurovision contest, unless Israel is banned from the competition, Anadolu Agency reports.

The Board of the Icelandic Society of Authors and Composers (FTT) is publicly calling on Iceland’s public broadcaster, RUV, not to take part in the song contest “unless Israel is denied participation in the competition on the same grounds as Russia in the last competition,” FTT’s General-Director, Stefan Eiriksson, stated in a letter sent to RUV.

“We all have a duty to take a stand against war and the killing of civilians and innocent children,” Eiriksson said.

“We owe it to those nations that act with force through military might not to share the stage in an event that is always characterised by joy and optimism,” added Eiriksson.

Israel has bombarded the Gaza Strip from the air and land, imposed a siege and mounted a ground offensive in retaliation for a cross-border attack by Hamas on 7 October.

At least 18,412 Palestinians have been killed and 50,100 injured in the Israeli onslaught since then, according to Gaza’s health authorities.

READ: Bombing, cold and rain, a worsening tragedy for the displaced in the Gaza Strip

More than 70 per cent of the victims are Palestinian women and children.

Russia was barred from the Eurovision Song Contest held in Turin, Italy, after neighbouring Finland threatened to pull out their performer unless Russia was banned due to Moscow’s decision to invade Ukraine that same year.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the show prevented the country from participating in future competitions.

Iceland was fined by the EBU after its Eurovision act, Hatari, raised Palestinian flags during their appearance on the show held in Israel in 2019.

The 2024 Eurovision Contest will take place in Malmo, Sweden, on 11 May.