From Iceland — Iceland's Eurovision Host Accused Of 'Political Propaganda' By Centre Party MP

Iceland’s Eurovision Host Accused Of ‘Political Propaganda’ By Centre Party MP

Published May 19, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Gísli Marteinn Baldursson, a broadcaster at RÚV and long-time host of the Eurovision Song Contest, made some remarks during last night’s performance that has drawn the ire of an MP for the Centre Party.

Just before Israel’s Eurovision act, Eden Alene, was set to perform the entry song, ‘Set Me Free’, Gísli Marteinn introduced the act by saying:

“Contrary to what many may believe, Set Me Free is not about Palestinians who are prisoners in their own country by Israeli settlements, but is actually a classic love song. We’ve got rockets and bombs here, but noticeably fewer than before from Israelis, who are possibly busy pointing them in another direction these days.”

This introduction did not sit well with Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, who used his time in a session of Parliament yesterday to address the remarks, RÚV reports.

While saying that he also believes that Israel has been acting too harshly against Gaza, Gunnar Bragi also said: “Now all that Eurovision stuff is going on, and it has been reported in the news that [RÚV] has decided to use the opportunity to employ political propaganda in their work there.” He questioned whether or not it should be considered natural for a RÚV broadcaster “to criticise, directly or indirectly, Israel and their policies in this competition.”

For his part, Gísli Marteinn tweeted yesterday morning that “my introductions are not political opinions, but ought to be first and foremost informative and entertaining. But they are of course not immune to what is happening in the world.”

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