Israel to Revise Eurovision Song Entry Amid Political Content Concerns

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.04 - 2024 10:09 AM CET

Photo: Review News /
Photo: Review News /
Israel to Revise Eurovision Song Entry Amid Political Content Concerns.

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Israel is set to make adjustments to its Eurovision Song Contest entry after facing potential disqualification over political content, a move initiated by President Isaac Herzog's intervention.

The country's public broadcaster, Kan, announced on Sunday the decision to revise the lyrics of the song "October Rain," initially selected to represent Israel at the contest in Sweden this May. This is reported by Al Jazeera.

Eurovision's Political Neutrality Rule Triggers Lyric Review

Eurovision, known for its rule against political content, prompted Israeli authorities to reconsider this year's entry. "October Rain" references the victims of the October 7 attacks by Hamas on southern Israel, leading to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

In response to Eurovision's concerns, Kan has reached out to the lyricists of "October Rain" and the runner-up entry "Dance Forever" to modify the texts while maintaining artistic integrity.

A New Song Selection Process Underway

Among the revised submissions, Kan will select the final song for Eurovision's approval, ensuring Israel's continued participation in the competition.

The final choice, performed by 20-year-old Russian-Israeli singer Eden Golan, is set to be unveiled on March 10.

Israel's Complex History with Eurovision

Since its first entry in 1973, Israel's involvement in Eurovision has been marked by controversy, including instances of political statements and actions that challenged the event's neutrality policy.

In 2019, Icelandic band Hatari made pro-Palestinian statements during the event in Tel Aviv, and Madonna faced criticism for her dancers' costumes featuring Israeli and Palestinian flags.

This year's Eurovision takes place amid the conflict sparked by the Hamas attack on October 7, leading to significant casualties and a humanitarian crisis. Israel's submission of "October Rain" initially faced rejection due to its political content, highlighting the ongoing tension and the importance of Eurovision as a platform for international representation.

Israel's Commitment to Participation

Despite the potential for withdrawal, President Herzog underscored the importance of Israel's voice in global forums, especially during times of external pressure and attempts at isolation. This commitment reflects the nation's dedication to cultural expression and dialogue, even in the face of adversity.

As the revision process unfolds, Israel's Eurovision entry will be closely watched, both for its artistic content and its reflection of the country's current challenges and resilience.

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