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Israel’s Eurovision act sparks backlash with lyrics to controversial song-Meghna Amin-Entertainment – Metro

It has been branded ‘political’.

Israel’s Eurovision act sparks backlash with lyrics to controversial song-Meghna Amin-Entertainment – Metro

Eden Golan will be representing Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 (Picture: Oleg Krasavin)

Israel’s Eurovision entry has sparked backlash after lyrics from their controversial song have been released.

The 2024 Song Contest is already facing criticism from some for including the country, as more than 2,000 artists from Iceland, Finland, and the host country Sweden signed open letters asking for Israel to be banned.

However, stars including Dame Helen Mirren, Boy George and Sharon Osbourne are amongst stars who have signed an open letter supporting the country’s inclusion, after it was shared on non-profit body Creative Community For Peace, who campaign against cultural boycotts of Israel.

The controversy has come months after the Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7, which has since seen more than 29,000 people killed in Gaza and nearly 70,000 injured, according to Al Jazeera.

Israel’s Eurovision act Eden Golan, 20, will be performing October Rain at the Song Contest in May.

The 20-year-old, who was born in Israel and raised in Russia, was selected after winning a TV talent show, on which she performed Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.

She previously dedicated the song to the Israeli hostages still held in Gaza, saying: ‘We won’t truly be OK until everyone returns home.’

According to outlet Israel Hayom, October Rain holds a political message with lyrics including: ‘There’s no air left to breathe / No place, no me from day to day.’

The song, which is mostly sung in English and is said to end with the last three lines in Hebrew, describes the situation around Hamas attack which killed around 1,200 people and took hundreds hostage.

According to the publication, the song ends with: ‘They were all good children each one of them.’

It also notes that Eden will sing the word ‘flowers’ which, when understood in context, is said to refer to fallen IDF soldiers in battle.

More than 29,000 people have been killed in Gaza after Israel launched retaliatory attacks after the Hamas attacks on October 7 (Picture: SAID KHATIB / AFP)

Nearly 70,000 people have been injured in the Gaza strip amid the ongoing conflict (Picture: REUTERS)

The lyrics have already received backlash after the Eurovision Song Contest previously stressed it is a ‘non-political music event’.

‘It is absolutely appalling that they are not banned in the first place, and now their song is so clearly political it might as well have just been the dictionary definition of propaganda,’ X user @lycafang wrote.

However @SlimShady_75 hit back with: ‘There is 0% politic in it. Just a tribute to victims of a terrorist attack.’

@Esc_gabe blasted: ‘In my view there is absolutely no way the EBU can allow a song with that title and those lyrics and I would be really surprised if Israel doesn’t withdraw as a result.’

‘Let me get this straight… Israel is allowed to take part in Eurovision because it’s a non political event but they’re allowed to have a song called October Rain? Hmmmm something just isn’t adding up,’ @laurynfvm said.

@AndersenDisa also alleged: ‘Israel is sending a song titled October Rain into Eurovision but its apparently not political. The absolute logistical leaps one would have to take to believe it wasn’t intentional are immense.’

Noa Kirel finished in third place after performing on behalf of Israel during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2023 (Picture: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

It has since been claimed that the organisers of Eurovision are ‘scrutinising’ the lyrics, with a spokesperson telling The Guardian: ‘The EBU is currently in the process of scrutinising the lyrics, a process which is confidential between the EBU and the broadcaster until a final decision has been taken.

‘All broadcasters have until 11 March to formally submit their entries. If a song is deemed unacceptable for any reason, broadcasters are then given the opportunity to submit a new song or new lyrics, as per the rules of the contest.’

The Eurovision Song Contest previously told that it ‘it is a competition for broadcasters – not governments – and the Israeli public broadcaster has participated in the Contest for 50 years.’

They added that Israeli public broadcaster KAN ‘meets all the competition rules and can participate’.

‘We understand the concerns and deeply held views around the current conflict in the Middle East. We can’t fail to be moved by the profound suffering of all those caught up in this terrible war. A lot of the images from Israel and Gaza that audiences are watching every day are provided through the EBU News Exchange, which we run with our members,’ it continued.

‘However, the Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political music event and a competition between public service broadcasters who are members of the EBU. It is not a contest between governments.

‘We are aware of the many voices calling to exclude Israel from this year’s competition in the same way as we excluded the Russian broadcaster in 2022 following the invasion of Ukraine.

‘Comparisons between wars and conflicts are complex and difficult and, as a non-political media organization, not ours to make. In the case of Russia, the Russian broadcasters themselves were suspended from the EBU due to their persistent breaches of membership obligations and the violation of public service values.

‘The relationship between KAN and the Israeli Government is fundamentally different to the relationship that exists between those Russian Members and the State, with the Israeli Government in recent years threatening to close down the broadcaster.

‘The EBU is aligned with other international organizations, including sports unions and federations and other international bodies, that have similarly maintained their inclusive stance towards Israeli participants in major competitions at this time.

‘We remain committed to ensuring the Eurovision Song Contest remains a non-political event that continues to unite audiences worldwide through music.’ has reached out to Eurovision for comment.

The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final airs on Saturday, May 11.

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