Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

A scandal is hanging in the air. Will Eden Golan be kicked out of Eurovision?

Eurovision 2024 will start on May 7 and last until May 11. This year’s edition will take place in Sweden exactly 50 years after ABBA’s legendary victory. It is known that, among others, will not take part in the competition. North Macedonia.

The participants include: returning after over 30 years of absence Luxembourg, but missing Romania, which ultimately withdrew due to the broadcaster’s financial problems. Many fans of the competition wondered whether because of the ongoing conflict Israel the country will be on the participating list.

European Broadcasting Union (EBU)the organizer of the event, decided that Israel is in the competition. “The Eurovision Song Contest is a competition for public broadcasters from all over Europe and the Middle East. It is a competition for broadcasters – not for governments – and the Israeli public broadcaster has been taking part in the competition for fifty years,” they told the Belgian magazine HLN.

The European Broadcasting Union did not change its mind even in the face of threats of protests from Scandinavian countries. Iceland, Finland and Norway threatened the EBU to withdraw from Eurovision if Israel takes part.

Musicians from… also protested Sweden. More than 1,000 artists signed a petition submitted to the host of this year’s event, demanding the exclusion of Israel from the competition. In response, American and British celebrities sent a letter to the EBU in which they appealed to uphold the decision to allow the country to perform at Eurovision.

“Removing Israel would be a reversal of justice. Israel is waging a war against a European Union-designated terrorist group that once again violated the ceasefire that day and then slaughtered 1,200 people. The current round of fighting is not a war Israel wanted. Nor did it start it.” ” – we read in the letter signed by such stars as: Helen Mirren, Liev Schreiber, Gene Simmons, Boy George, Julianna Margulies, Sharon Osbourne and Debra Messing.

Throughout the chaos, Israel – unfazed by threats of boycott – continued to elect its representative. Ultimately, the winner of the “Rising Star” program was the singer Eden Golan. It was at the beginning of February and from then on, work on the Eurovision song for the artist began.

In the meantime, the Eurovision media began to examine the career of the singer born in 2003. And as it turned out, her biography also began to raise considerable doubts in another country, i.e Ukraine.

Eden Golan was born in the city of Kefar Sava, but for most of her life she was associated with Russia. She moved there with her parents (mother Ukrainian girl and father Latvian) when she was six years old and spent the next 13 years there. She finally returned to Israel in 2022, claiming that she began to feel worse and worse in Russia, and the reason was the growing anti-Semitism in that country.

However, before the young singer moved out of Moscow, she was actively involved in the local music scene. She took part in the local edition “The Voice Kids”, reaching the finals of the show in the fifth season. In 2015, she tried to represent the country on behalf of Russia Junior Eurovision Song Contest. However, she failed to win the eliminations.

Another episode in Golan’s life caused a lot of controversy. In 2016, the singer took part in the competition “New wave”, which was organized in Crimea, which had been forcibly occupied by the Russians two years earlier. This did not go down well with the Ukrainian media and Eurovision fans from that country.

“She took part in Russian propaganda performances, she never condemned the attack on Ukraine, and she tries to keep silent about her work in Russia,” commented one Eurovision fan.

The performances in occupied Crimea did not escape the attention of the Ukrainian broadcaster – Suspline – who wrote about everything on his website. However, it did not intervene in any way with the European Broadcasting Union.

However, the controversy surrounding Israel’s performance at Eurovision and the artist herself is not all. Currently, Israel – as local media emphasize – is extremely close to disqualification at Eurovision. All because of the song choice for Eden Golan.

Israeli broadcaster KAN he chose a piece with a telling title “October Rain”. The song is a direct reference to the October attack on the country. The choice of song is another test of boundaries, because as we know, songs with political content are banned at Eurovision, and the European Broadcasting Union analyzes each song from this angle.

“The EBU is currently checking the lyrics, and this process is confidential between the EU and the broadcaster until a final decision is made. All broadcasters have until March 11 to formally submit their applications. If the song is not approved, the broadcaster will have the opportunity to change the song,” we read. statement.

The “YNET” newspaper explicitly writes about a certain disqualification if the player does not agree to change the song. The broadcaster KAN quickly responded to the press reports and explicitly announced that it would withdraw from the competition after rejecting the Israeli proposal.

“After a diligent process, the professional commission of the Israeli broadcaster sent the song to the EBU for approval. KAN is in dialogue with the Broadcasting Union regarding the song. It should be noted that according to our body there is no obligation to replace the song. This means that if the song is not approved, Israel will not will be able to take part in the competition in Sweden,” the statement reads.

The Israeli government also reacted to the confusion.

“The song Eden Golan is a moving song that reflects the current mood in the country and is not of a political nature. We call on the EBU to behave professionally and neutrally,” he wrote Mickey Zoharthe Minister of Culture, who called the potential decision to remove his country from Eurovision “scandalous”.