Eurovision asks fans to stop harassing artists over Israel

Singing contest boss tells fans to stop ‘targeted campaigns against artists’


LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Noa Kirel, representative for Israel, performs during the first dress rehearsal for Semi Final 1 of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 at M&S Bank Arena on May 08, 2023 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

Eurovision has appealed to fans to stop harassing each other over the inclusion of Israel in the singing contest. 

In a statement released on their website, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said they, “recognise the strong emotions stirred by this year's Eurovision Song Contest and the intense debate sparked by the inclusion of an Israeli entry.”

Eden Golan, the Israeli entry into this year’s contest, had her song investigated and rewritten by Israel’s public broadcaster Kan for being “too political”. Anti-Israel activists have since called for Golan to be removed from the contest or for the competition to be boycotted entirely.

Now the EBU have reaffirmed their responsibility for including the Israeli act and has asked fans to stop attacking performers.

Addressing “the targeted social media campaigns against some of our participating artists,” EBU Deputy Director General, Jean Philip De Tender, said: “We urge everyone to engage in respectful and constructive dialogue and support the artists who are working tirelessly.”

Tender stressed that the competition is “a music and entertainment show” and said “The EBU is dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment for all participants, staff, and fans.”

Eurovision organisers have previously said that the contest is between national broadcasters rather than national governments, and should therefore be free of political statements.

Mired in controversy, one cinema in east London has been put under investigation by the charity commission after it cancelled its annual Eurovision party on 11 May because of Israel’s inclusion in the contest.

The UK’s entry, Olly Alexander, has been harangued by anti-Israel activists demanding he withdraw from Eurovision over Israel’s inclusion but the Years & Years lead singer rejected the calls, instead releasing a statement “hoping to work together in creating a better world for all of us.”

The EBU statement repeated the contest’s mission to “be united by music.”

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