Thousands protest Israel's Eurovision participation

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - MALMO, May 10 — Thousands of people opposed to Israel’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest demonstrated ahead of this year’s second semi-final, where Israeli contestant Eden Golan was set to perform her song Hurricane yesterday.

Metal barricades and large concrete blocks have been put up around Malmo Arena in the Swedish city hosting the competition.

Demonstrators set off smoke flares in the colours of the Palestinian flag during a noisy rally to criticise Israel and call for a cease-fire in Gaza.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the pan-continental pop competition, ruled that Israel is allowed to compete, despite months of vocal opposition against the country’s participation in the midst of the Israel-Hamas war.

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The EBU claims Eurovision is apolitical but critics have highlighted Russia’s exclusion from the competition over its 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Belarus was excluded a year earlier over its record on human rights and freedom of the press. — DW

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