I was forced to hide my identity at Eurovision, says Israeli contestant

Eden Golan, 20, faced “unprecented” hatred while competing at the Eurovision song contest in May


Eden Golan, Israel's participant in the Eurovision competition arrives to the Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv, May 12, 2024. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

Israel’s Eurovision contestant has revealed she was forced to use a disguise to go out in public while competing in the contest in May after security threats against her.

Eden Golan, 20, who represented Israel at Eurovision and placed third in the competition said it was “scary and dangerous” to go outside in Malmö, where the contest was held. “It’s sad that we have returned to a time where a Jewish Israeli woman has to hide parts of her identity to avoid being harmed,” she wrote on social media.

Born in Israel in Kfar Saba, Golan moved to Russia when she was six, before returning to Israel after the 2022 invasion of Ukraine. The singer finished in fifth place overall, and second in the public vote.

While at Eurovision, Golan was surrounded by 24/7 security. Still, the very few times she was allowed to leave her room, she “had to dress up”. Sharing a photo of her disguise on Instagram, Golan left fans with a positive message: “I know there are better days ahead of us”.

The Combat Antisemitism Movement also shared Golan’s disguise. “It’s tragic and wrong that in 2024 a Jewish singer in Europe needs to hide like this,” they wrote on social media.

Golan’s appearance at Eurovision was surrounded by controversy, with protesters calling for Israel to be removed from the competition. The Israeli delegation said they faced “an unprecedented display of hatred” this year, “solely because of the simple fact that we’re Israelis and that we were there”.

Israel has competed in Eurovision every year since 1973. When Israel hosted the contest in 2019, it faced calls for an international boycott, especially from Irish and Icelandic fans.

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