Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Iceland’s punk rock band Hatari raised scarves showing Palestinian flags during the announcement of their results in Israel’s Eurovision, erupting outrage among Israeli audience.
Upon being televised, the Iceland team unveiled the flag. When the Israeli crowd saw the Palestine flag, a chorus of boos rang out as the broadcaster quickly switched to the hosts. With the crowd jeering the act, BBC commentator for the programme, Graham Norton quickly jokingly remarked that it “didn’t go down well in the hall”.
Band member Stefan Agustsson later shared video on Twitter showing security officials demanding the group hand over the flags following the protest.
Hatari had been critical of “Israel” before the grand final, even challenging the country’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a “friendly match of traditional Icelandic trouser grip wrestling”.
In a statement, Eurovision organisers said the “consequences of this action” would be discussed by the contest’s executive board. “The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and this directly contradicts the contest rule,” they stated.“The banners were quickly removed and the consequences of this action will be discussed by the reference group [the contest’s executive board] after the contest.”
Although the annual song contest is supposed to be “non-political”, this year’s build-up was marred by controversy and calls for a boycott by pro-Palestinian activists.
Madonna’s performance saw her backing dancers display both Israeli and Palestinian flags on their backs.
The 2019 song contest has been one of the most controversial to date, due to it taking place in Tel Aviv, “Israel”. Many accuse “Israel” of using the contest to white-wash its crimes.
There have been many calls to boycott the contest due to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem and the recent aggression against Gaza, in which 28 civilians were killed in Israeli attacks.
Israel’s hosting of Eurovision 2019 has resulted in thousands of fans boycotting the contest and hosting anti-Eurovision parties and fundraisers to side with Palestine.