The board of the Icelandic Society of Authors and Composers (FTT) is publicly urging Iceland’s national broadcaster RÚV to withdraw from the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest unless Israel is banned from participating.
In a statement addressed to RÚV General Director Stefán Eiríksson on Monday, FTT’s board “calls on RÚV not to participate in Eurovision in 2024 unless Israel is denied participation in the competition on the same grounds as Russia in the last competition.”
“We all have a duty to take a stand against war and the killing of civilians and innocent children. We always have the choice not to put our name to such things, whether we are individuals or state institutions,” it continues. “We owe it to those nations that act with force through military might not to share the stage in an event that is always characterized by joy and optimism.”
The statement was signed by FTT board members Bragi Valdimar Skúlason, Védís Hervör Árnadóttir, Sóley Stefánsdóttir, Ragnheiður Gröndal, Andri Ólafsson, Hallur Ingólfsson and Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir.
Russia was banned from competing in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, after Finland took a stand and said they would not send a contestant if Russia were permitted to participate. Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Terrorist organisation Hamas launched an attack on Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking another 240 hostage in Gaza. Israel has since launched an air and ground offensive on the occupied Palestinian territory, killing more than 17,000 people — 70% of which are women and children, according to Palestinian authorities. Israel’s ongoing offensive has seen 81% of Gaza’s population of 1.7 million people displaced from their homes, worsening the humanitarian crisis in the Israel-controlled enclave.
The 68th edition of the song contest is slated to take place in Malmö, Sweden, from May 7 to 11 following Loreen winning the 2023 context in Liverpool, U.K., with her song “Tattoo.”
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