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Is Eurovision Truly 'Apolitical' and A Politics-Free Zone?

Is Eurovision Truly 'Apolitical' and A Politics-Free Zone?

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the Eurovision Song Contest, repeatedly emphasizes that the competition is purely a cultural event with no place for politics. But is that really the case?

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Eurovision has been one of the most talked-about topics lately.

Eurovision has been one of the most talked-about topics lately.

The inclusion of Israel in Eurovision had caused a global uproar, with boycott calls rising from all over the world.

However, contrary to this, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the Eurovision Song Contest, repeatedly emphasizes that the competition is purely a cultural event with no room for politics.

However, contrary to this, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the Eurovision Song Contest, repeatedly emphasizes that the competition is purely a cultural event with no room for politics.

According to the EBU's rules, political expressions and even slogans are not allowed.

However, many sources like Bloomberg state that the event "has always been political" and "perhaps more political than ever this year."

However, many sources like Bloomberg state that the event "has always been political" and "perhaps more political than ever this year."

Bloomberg also mentioned that the song contest has been 'defending Israel's participation for months.'

One of the initiators of the EurovisiOFF campaign called for a boycott of Eurovision.

One of the initiators of the EurovisiOFF campaign called for a boycott of Eurovision.

Norwegian actor Janne Heltberg argued that just as Russia was swiftly banned after invading Ukraine in 2022, Israel should also be disqualified.

The majority of respondents in a YouGov poll expressed that Israel should not be allowed to participate in the competition.

The majority of respondents in a YouGov poll expressed that Israel should not be allowed to participate in the competition.

The polling firm noted that the reasons were generally more geographical than political. The likelihood of those considering watching Eurovision advocating for Israel's participation was slightly higher than those opposing it.

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Additionally, it was reported that Eden Golan's two songs - 'October Rain' and 'Dance Forever' - were rejected as 'political.'

Additionally, it was reported that Eden Golan's two songs - 'October Rain' and 'Dance Forever' - were rejected as 'political.'

Israeli Culture Minister Miki Zohar expressed anger at claims that the lyrics of the song were political, stating on social media that the song was 'touching' and 'expresses the feelings of the people and the country these days and is not political.'

In 2019, Madonna appeared as a guest at Eurovision with her song 'Future.'

In 2019, Madonna appeared as a guest at Eurovision with her song 'Future.'

She brought two dancers on stage carrying Israeli and Palestinian flags, implying the 'unity' of the two countries. Despite claims of being non-political, many artists and guests participated in this event with symbols or narratives related to Israel and Palestine.

DW noted that Israel has participated in Eurovision for over half a century, so the Middle East conflict is not a new topic in this event.

DW noted that Israel has participated in Eurovision for over half a century, so the Middle East conflict is not a new topic in this event.

Dutch singer Joost Klein was also rumored to consider the Eurovision event political. There were even allegations that he had a fight backstage with Golan, who represented Israel. After these allegations, it was announced that he was disqualified. On Saturday, Swedish police confirmed that a person had been reported for 'illegal threats' at the Malmö Arena after Thursday's semi-final. Subsequently, the EBU disqualified Klein.

So, is Eurovision really 'apolitical'?

So, is Eurovision really 'apolitical'?

Established in 1956 to promote unity among national broadcasters, Eurovision is officially apolitical. Belarus, the last civil dictatorship in Europe, was banned in 2021 after presenting a song mocking government protests. This year, Israel was asked to change its song 'October Rain,' which referenced Hamas attacks triggering Israel's 'harsh' ground operation.

However, political tensions have surfaced numerous times in voting and thinly veiled song lyrics.

However, political tensions have surfaced numerous times in voting and thinly veiled song lyrics.

Saade, a participant in Eurovision, once criticized organizers harshly by recounting an incident he experienced: 'I took that veil from my father when I was a little kid, to never forget where my family came from. I didn't know then that one day I would be called a 'political symbol' by the EBU. It's like calling the Swedish Dalecarlian horse a political symbol... To me, this is just racism.'

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