Swedish musicians urge ban on Israel’s participation in Eurovision Song Contest over its war in Gaza

Europe
Wed, 31 Jan 2024 7:20 GMT
Citing fact that Russia was barred from competing in 2022 due to its war with Ukraine, over 1,000 signatory artists emphasize same principle must be applied to Israel.
Swedish musicians urge ban on Israel’s participation in Eurovision Song Contest over its war in Gaza

Over 1,000 Swedish musicians have called on the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to exclude Israel from the Eurovision Song Contest over its war in Gaza

In an open letter published by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet on Monday, the artists from the Eurovision host country Sweden stated that they expect the organizer to be consistent in their stance toward countries that "violate democratic values and human rights."

Citing the fact that Russia was barred from competing in 2022 due to its war with Ukraine, more than 1,000 signatory artists have emphasized that the same principle must be applied to Israel.

In response to earlier calls, the EBU announced that Israel would not be excluded from the contest, saying it wants to maintain the competition’s status as "an apolitical event that unites audiences around the world through music."

Israel launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7, killing at least 26,637 Palestinians and injuring 65,387. Nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

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