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Israel’s Eurovision Contestant Booed During Dress Rehearsals

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After much controversy surrounding whether Israel should be allowed to compete in the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest, their entry received boos during a dress rehearsal for the competition’s semi-finals.

Israel contestant Eden Golan, who is performing the song “Hurricane” as the country’s entry, began the rehearsal as normal — but shortly after she began, the crowd erupted in boos, with several audience members shouting “Free Palestine.” Despite the reception they garnered, Israel will continue with their performance of “Hurricane” for the second leg of the competition’s semi-finals, which take place this evening in Sweden. Watch clips of the rehearsal below.

Israel’s participation in the competition has been opposed by many groups — both in the host country Sweden and abroad — due to their ongoing military decimation of the Gaza Strip. Fellow Eurovision performers have also condemned the decision to include Israel, including Ireland entrant and confirmed finalist Bambie Thug — who was forced to change their pro-Palestine message after they wore body paint depicting a mediaeval language that translated to “ceasefire and freedom.”

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Several artists and celebrities, however, have voiced support for Israel’s inclusion in the competition, including Gene Simmons, Sharon Osborne, and Boy George. The European Broadcasting Union, who produces Eurovision, still opted to include Israel in this year’s competition. Their entry song, “October Rain,” however, was disqualified from performance because it violated rules on political neutrality. They have since pivoted to “Hurricane.”

The Eurovision finale will take place on Saturday, May 11th at the Malmö Arena in Sweden.

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