15,000 demonstrators march against Israel before the Eurovision final in Malmö art


Thousands took to the streets in Malmö, Sweden, to protest against the war on Gaza, as well as the decision to allow Israeli contestant Eden Golan to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest and advance her to the final rounds. In a video posted on social media, demonstrators chanted against Zionism.

Today’s new demonstration was an extension of the protests that saw more than 15,000 people come out against Israel before the performance of “Golan” last Thursday. However, the Israeli singer qualified for the finals and is currently one of the favorites to win, as the bookers ranked her second after Croatian Bebe Lasagna. Golan was met with boos before, during and after her semifinal performance, and again on Friday night during rehearsals before her final performance.

The organizers of the 68th Eurovision Contest claimed that they were trying to keep her away from politics, war, and the tensions that have been raging since Golan’s song “October Rain” was approved to participate in the contest. According to The Wrap website, the singer committed to staying in her room in the hotel in which she resides. On Saturday night, on the instructions of the Israeli General Security Service (Shin Bet) before the final ceremony.

The protesters’ anger

Among the demonstrators in Malmö is the world’s most famous environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, who joined thousands of people in the city’s streets on Friday. She tweeted on the (X) platform, “Malmö says no to genocide! People from all over Sweden are gathering in Malmö this week, where the Eurovision contest is being held, to protest Israel’s participation in the contest,” demanding a ceasefire while raising slogans and hashtags #FreePalestine and #NoShootNow.

“Yesterday we were tens of thousands of people who poured into the streets of Malmö. We will not accept that a country currently committing genocide should be allowed a platform to launder themselves with art. The world cannot remain silent in the face of genocide. Everyone who can must raise their voice against Israel’s crimes.” and occupy it.”

MALMO, SWEDEN - MAY 09: Israel's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place on May 11th, is being protested in Malmo, Sweden, where the event is being hosted on May 9, 2024. (Atila Altuntaş - Anadolu Agency)
Protests against Israel’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest (Anatolia)

Golan was met with disdain from her fellow contestants. On Friday, Greek contestant Marina Satti pretended to be asleep while Golan was answering reporters’ questions about her song. Israeli TV journalist Micah Schwartzenberg posted a video online and tweeted, “This is the singer representing Greece in the Eurovision contest.”

Schwartzenberg added, “Pretending to be asleep while the Israeli contestant was speaking is not only bad education or pure hatred for Jews, but rather a disgrace to the Greek nation that she represents before the world.”

Irish contestant Bambi Ray Robinson, known by his stage name Bambi Thug, expressed his annoyance at the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation’s comment just hours before Saturday’s final.

The Israeli channel KAN had warned its viewers that Thug’s performance of their song “Blue Doomsday” would be “the scariest,” and the commentator added that Thug liked to “speak negatively about Israel.”

“I’m angry at the other bands that are breaking the EBU rules and still being allowed in. So there are definitely war drums beating in my heart to push the performance more than I did before,” Thug told a Swedish channel.

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