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The organizers have announced that Israel will have the opportunity to participate in the 2024 Eurovision song contest.
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The organizers have announced that Israel will have the opportunity to participate in the 2024 Eurovision song contest.

According to organizers, Israel will be allowed to participate in this year’s Eurovision song contest, despite some calls for its exclusion due to the Gaza conflict. This is similar to Russia’s exclusion from the contest in 2014 after its invasion of Ukraine.

There have been petitions going around to remove Israel from the upcoming event in Malmö, Sweden, taking place in May.

On Thursday, the European Broadcasting Union announced that following a review, Israel has been allowed to participate in the contest.

“The Eurovision song contest is a non-political music event and a competition among public service broadcasters who are part of the EBU,” stated Noel Curran, the director general of the EBU. He clarified that it is not a competition between governments.

The governing bodies reviewed the list of participants for the 2024 contest and concluded that the Israeli public broadcaster Kan has met all the competition rules and is eligible to participate, as it has done for the past 50 years.

On May 9th, Israel will participate in the second semi-final. Out of the 16 participants, 10 will advance to the grand final on May 11th.

At the age of 20, Eden Golan, originally from Russia, was chosen to represent Israel in a national competition. The title of her song has not been revealed yet. Israel has successfully advanced to the grand final every year since 2015.

The conflict in Gaza began when Hamas attacked Israel on October 7th, causing the deaths of approximately 1,160 individuals, predominantly civilians. In response, Israel initiated a military operation that has resulted in the deaths of at least 28,663 people in Gaza, mostly innocent women and children.

On February 24, 2022, Russia initiated a complete invasion of Ukraine. The next day, the EBU stated that allowing a Russian participant in that year’s contest would damage the integrity of the competition.

According to the statement, the decision was made in accordance with the event’s rules and the values of the EBU.

Curran stated that it was not the EBU’s role to compare wars.

He stated that the Russian broadcasters were excluded from the EBU because they continuously failed to meet membership requirements and disregarded public service values.

The dynamic between Kan and the Israeli government is distinct from the dynamic between Russian members and their state. In recent years, the Israeli government has made threats to shut down the broadcaster.

The EBU, established in 1950 and headquartered in Geneva, is the largest alliance of public service media globally. It boasts 112 member organizations across 56 countries.

Curran stated that the EBU’s actions were consistent with those of other global organizations, such as sports federations, who have allowed Israel to participate in their competitions.

In 1998, Dana International from Israel made history as the first transgender singer to win Eurovision. Israel has previously won Eurovision in 1978 and 1979, and achieved a fourth victory in 2018.

Malmö is hosting the 68th edition after Swedish singer Loreen won the 2023 contest in Liverpool with the song Tattoo, watched by some 162 million viewers. The 2024 event coincides with the 50th anniversary of Abba’s Eurovision victory – Sweden’s first – with their breakthrough hit Waterloo.

Source: theguardian.com