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More than 400 leaders from the entertainment industry on Wednesday signed an open letter, released by the non-profit entertainment industry organization Creative Community For Peace, in support of the European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU) public commitment to include Israel in the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest.

The letter comes in response to others who have demanded that Israel be disinvited from the contest. The letter highlights Eurovision’s unique ability to unify people from diverse backgrounds and music’s capacity to effect positive change in the world. It states that the annual event, with more viewers than the Super Bowl, is a celebration of unity and should not be used as a tool for politics.

The over 400 signatories include, among others: Actress Helen Mirren, artist Boy George, artist Gene Simmons, actress Mayim Bialik, actress Debra Messing, Haim Saban, Scooter Braun, actress Patricia Heaton, singer Noa Kirel who represented Israel at last year’s Eurovision, actor Tom Arnold, TV personality Sharon Osbourne.

“We, the undersigned members of the entertainment industry, are writing to express our support for Israel’s continued inclusion in the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest,” the letter states.

“We have been shocked and disappointed to see some members of the entertainment community calling for Israel to be banished from the Contest for responding to the greatest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust,” it adds.

“October 7th was a day in which a music festival meant to celebrate life was attacked by Hamas and saw 364 innocent civilians killed, hundreds maimed and brutalized, over 40 festivalgoers taken hostage, and many raped.”

“Israel is fighting a war against a European Union-designated terrorist group that once again broke a ceasefire that day, and then went on to slaughter over 1,200 people. This current round of fighting is not a war that Israel wanted or started. To punish Israel would be an inversion of justice,” the letter said.

It also notes Israel’s long history at Eurovision since it first participated in 1973. Israel won the Contest in 1978, 1979, 1998, and 2018, hosting the Contest three times, in 1979, 1999, and 2019. “In fact, Eurovision fans voted ‘Dare to Dream,’ the 64th Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, the best Eurovision production of the decade,” the letter continues.

“Furthermore, we believe that unifying events such as singing competitions are crucial to help bridge our cultural divides and unite people of all backgrounds through their shared love of music.”

The artists note, “Those who are calling for Israel’s exclusion are subverting the spirit of the Contest and turning it from a celebration of unity into a tool of politics.”

“We support all of this year’s contestants as well as your decision to reject the calls to expel Israel from the Contest. We are looking forward to a successful and exciting Eurovision 2024.”

The European Broadcasting Union announced in December that it rejected calls to ban Israel's participation in Eurovision 2024 because of the war in Gaza.

The EBU made clear at the time that Israel complies with the rules and as such, will take part in the competition.

After the EBU’s announcement that Israel will take part in Eurovision, Iceland’s public broadcaster, RUV, announced it will consider withdrawing from the Contest due to Israel’s participation.

The statement indicated that a final announcement regarding the question of the country’s participation in the competition will not be made before March.

RUV’s announcement came after nearly 10,000 Icelanders, representing 2.5 percent of the population, signed a petition calling for Israel to be disqualified from the competition.