Robyn and Fever Ray are among more than 1,000 Swedish signatories of an open letter calling for the Eurovision Song Contest to ban Israel from the 2024 competition, the final of which takes place in the Swedish city of Malmö on May 11. Axel Boman, Refused, DJ Seinfeld, Peder Mannerfelt, and First Aid Kit are also among the signatories.
Per the the Gazan Health Ministry, Israeli forces have killed more than 25,000 Palestinians since the outbreak of war in October, following Hamas’ attack on Israel. The United Nations’ International Court of Justice in The Hague has also called on Israeli leaders to prevent acts of genocide by military forces in the Gaza Strip.
The letter to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), owner and operator of Eurovision, argues, “The fact that countries that place themselves above humanitarian law are welcomed to participate in international cultural events trivializes violations of international law and makes the suffering of the victims invisible.”
The letter follows a similar campaign spearheaded by Finnish and Icelandic artists, which argued that “a country that commits war crimes and continues a military occupation” should not be allowed “to polish its image in the name of music.”
Following both letters, Sveriges Television (SVT), the Swedish public broadcaster of Eurovision 2024, released the following statement:
The European Broadcasting Union banned Russia from the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, saying, “in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s Contest would bring the competition into disrepute.” At the same time, the EBU referred to itself as “an apolitical member organization of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service.” Belarus was banned for press freedom violations the previous year.