Iceland faces criticism after violating Eurovision standards

'Icelandic Hatari singers did not keep their commitment. Reykjavik must be disqualified from 2020 contest.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Iceland's performers
Iceland's performers
Kan 11

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre and UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) called for Eurovision to disqualify Iceland’s Eurovision entry.

"Icelandic Hatari (Hate) singers did not keep their commitment. Reykjavik must be disqualified from 2020 contest," they said in a statement.

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 that “the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) umbrella body for Eurovision had responded that Iceland’s Broadcaster would keep its commitments under Eurovision Song Contest Rule 2.6... "No lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political, commercial or similar nature shall be permitted during the ESC."

"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," the Centre said.

Samuels added that "responsibility be addressed to the Icelandic Broadcaster, which must accordingly be disqualified by the EBU from the 2020 Eurovision Contest in Amsterdam."

"We will be monitoring the situation in the context of campaign against BDS, the anti-Semitic Boycott,Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel."

In a statement, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said, "In the live broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final, Hatari, the Icelandic act, briefly displayed small Palestinian banners whilst [they] sat in the Green Room."

"The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and this directly contradicts the contest’s rules. 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."