Follow-Up to Wiesenthal Centre and UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) Call for Eurovision to Disqualify Iceland’s Entry
May 19, 2019
“Icelandic Hatari (Hate) singers did not keep their commitment. Reykjavik must be disqualified from 2020 contest.”
On 17 April, the Wiesenthal Centre had joined with UKLFI in writing to Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) executive supervisor, Jon Ola Sand, to demand depoliticization of this year's contest in Tel Aviv, which concluded this week-end.
This request specifically applied to Iceland’s Hatari band, which had been proclaiming its anti-Israeli prejudices and threats “in contravention of both the spirit and the rules of Eurovision.”
The Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted, “The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) umbrella body for Eurovision had responded that Iceland’s Broadcaster would keep its committments under ESC Rule 2.6... “No lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political, commercial or similar nature shall be permitted during the ESC...”
The Centre considers that “this commitment was offensively violated by Hatari (meaning ‘Hate’ in English), which lived up to its name in inciting to anti-Israel hatred by unfurling Palestinian banners during the vote for winner of the event.”
Samuels argued that, “Responsibility be addressed to the Icelandic Broadcaster, which must accordingly be disqualified by the EBU from thr 2020 Eurovision Contest in Amsterdam.”
The Centre applauded Gavin Coulson’s petition to that end.
"We will be monitoring the situation in the context of campaign against BDS, the antisemitic Boycott,Divestment and Sanctions against Israel," concluded Samuels.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).