News
Over 16,500 People in Iceland Sign Petition To Withdraw From Eurovision In Israel

Over 16,500 People in Iceland Sign Petition To Withdraw From Eurovision In Israel

Alice Demurtas
Words by

Published May 15, 2018

More than 16,500 people in Iceland, and rising, have recently signed an online petition to withdraw from the next Eurovision contest that will be held in Israel in 2019. Further, the Icelander who made Eurovision matter to Icelanders – Páll Óskar – has also expressed the desire for Iceland to boycott Eurovision.

The petition was started by Icelander Árni St. Sigurðsson just after news broke about the recent massacre in Gaza, and the petition is directed at national broadcasters RÚV, which oversees the Icelandic participation in Eurovision.

“Following the human rights violation perpetuated by Israel towards the Palestinian nation it is unethical for us to participate in such a glamorous competition like Eurovision in the shadow of Israel’s violence against their neighbours,” reads a statement under the petition. “In the past few months, the State of Israel has killed dozens individuals just for protesting the situation.”

Israel’s victory at Eurovision, and the subsequent news that next year’s contest will be held in Jerusalem, has also been criticised by The Association Iceland-Palestine as a crucial step in denying Palestinians their human rights.

“The Association mourns the fact that Europe has not stood with human rights tonight, but has instead chosen to hold the next Eurovision contest in Israel,” reads a statement from the association. “At the same time, the Israeli government interferes with international laws and conducts land robbery, human rights abuses and repeated violence against Palestinians.”

On the 70th anniversary of Nakba, the day when countless Palestinians were forced out of their homes following the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, a gathering was held yesterday in Austurvöllur, in front of the Icelandic Parliament. Palestinians all over the world did the same.

The President of the Association, Sveinn Rúnar Hauksson, was not the only one to speak against the decision. Sema Erla Serdar, founder of humanitarian aid organisation Solaris, has called the situation “disgusting,” while Þórunn Ólafsdóttir, founder of humanitarian aid organisation Akkeri, invited Icelandic musicians to stand together and boycott the Eurovision.

Baldur Þórhallsson, Dean of the Faculty of Political Science, also took to Facebook to stress that while it is appropriate to criticise Israeli authorities we should also remember not to judge all Israelis by the decisions of their government.

So far, it seems like Iceland will indeed be participating in the Eurovision contest today, as RÚV program manager Skarp­héðinn Guðmunds­son told Morgunblaðið yesterday. “Our participation is never a given—we’ll notify the public in autumn like we always do,” Skarphéðinn said. “At this stage everything is taken into account, and we have yet to have a meeting about this.”

Despite his rather neutral comments, however, Skarphéðinn also added that “we can strongly assume that we will take part in Eurovision next year like we do every year.”


News
Something Malevolent This Way Comes: Olaf de Fleur on adventure and exploration in the world of film

Something Malevolent This Way Comes: Olaf de Fleur on adventure and exploration in the world of film

by

Info Available on Netflix Inspiration Icelandic film director, scriptwriter and producer, Olaf de Fleur Johannesson, enters the international Hollywood scene

News
The Faces Of The Financial Crisis: Ten Years After The Big Crash

The Faces Of The Financial Crisis: Ten Years After The Big Crash

by and

2018 marks the tenth anniversary of Iceland’s devastating financial crisis. The beginning of the end can be traced back to

News
What Are Icelanders Talking About?

What Are Icelanders Talking About?

by and

Probably the weather, but what else? Way up in the Westfjörds, someone stole a yacht and attempted to sail it

News
Iceland’s President Addresses: “Pornography And Decline”

Iceland’s President Addresses: “Pornography And Decline”

by

President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, as an honorary guest and a historian himself, will address an evening of talks

News
Christmas Goat Returns, Challenging The Fates Once More

Christmas Goat Returns, Challenging The Fates Once More

by

The Christmas Goat is back again, Fréttablaðið reports, ready to face whatever the elements and aspiring arsonists may throw its

News
Iceland’s Tourism Minister Calls for Tourist Limits

Iceland’s Tourism Minister Calls for Tourist Limits

by

Minister of Tourism Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir has called for limiting the number of visitors to certain sites, RÚV. The

Show Me More!