Monday, June 17, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Monday, June 17, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

1000 Swedish artists: “Throw Israel out of Eurovision”

The situation in Gaza

Published 31 January 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Melissa Horn, Eric Saade, and Robyn are three of the signatories.

1005 Swedish artists have signed a petition asking SVT and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to exclude Israel from the Eurovision Song Contest. The reason is Israel’s invasion and bombing of Gaza.

“10,000 dead children and a genocide investigation means that it is no longer a political issue. It is a moral issue”, says popular singer Eric Saade.

The artists point out that more than 25,000 Palestinians have been killed in “Israel’s brutal war” – and that more than 10,000 of them are children. In addition, 85% of the population has been forced to flee and the situation is a large-scale humanitarian disaster.

“The International Court of Justice in The Hague has recently decided to proceed with the case accusing Israel of violating the Genocide Convention”, it notes.

It appeals to the EBU, which organizes the competition, not to allow Israel’s participation in 2024, pointing out that Russia was excluded after it invaded Ukraine.

“Allowing Israel’s participation undermines not only the spirit of the competition, but the entire public service mission. It also sends a signal that governments can commit war crimes without consequences. Therefore, we appeal to the EBU: Exclude Israel from the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest”, they write, expecting “the EBU and this year’s host broadcaster SVT to be consistent in their stance towards participating countries that violate democratic values and human rights”.

“Welcoming countries that place themselves above humanitarian law to participate in international cultural events trivializes violations of international law and makes the suffering of the victims invisible”, they say.

“Serious war crimes”

Artists who have signed the petition include Anna Ternheim, Eric Saade, Peg Parnevik, Robyn, Mauro Scocco, Silvana Imam, Timbuktu, Sabina Ddumba, Viagra Boys, Newkid, Petra Marklund, Daniel Adams-Ray, Malena Ernman, Marit Bergman and Miriam Bryant.

“I didn’t have the heart to turn a blind eye to what was going on, I love Melodifestivalen and ESC and everything they stand for. I can’t stand to see their credibility destroyed in this way”, Eric Saade wrote in an e-mail to SVT.

“10,000 dead children and a genocide investigation means that this is no longer a political issue. It is a moral issue, and I love this context (ESC) too much not to express my concern”, he continues.

Already 1300 Finnish musicians have called on broadcaster Yle to either put pressure on the organizers or boycott the contest in Malmö – Iceland has not yet decided whether it will participate in Eurovision.

Some 300 Norwegian artists, like their Swedish counterparts, are calling for Israel to be excluded from the contest, again citing Israel’s war crimes.

“We cannot passively watch a country that commits gross war crimes against an imprisoned people participate in a shared celebration of music, diversity and unity. We urge the NRC to stand up for the exclusion of Israel from this year’s Eurovision”, they said.

Researcher skeptical

However, Eurovision researcher Zoe Jay doubts that Israel will actually be excluded – despite the demands. This is because the Swedish political establishment has a positive attitude towards the country.

– It is unlikely at the moment that Israel will be excluded from Eurovision 2024… There is no widespread criticism at the government level about Israel’s participation, unlike in the case of Russia, she says.

The leader of the Left Party, Nooshi Dadgostar, is the only Swedish party leader to say that Israel’s participation should be stopped.

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