Who is Eden Golan? Israeli singer faces boycott calls as Greta Thunberg joins pro-Palestine protests at Eurovision - Hindustan Times
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Who is Eden Golan? Israeli singer faces boycott calls as Greta Thunberg joins pro-Palestine protests at Eurovision

ByShweta Kukreti
May 10, 2024 03:37 PM IST

Greta Thunberg has joined anti-Israel protestors in Eurovision 2024 host city Malmo to raise voice against the Israeli singer Eden Golan's participation.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has joined thousands of anti-Israel protestors in Eurovision 2024 host city Malmo to raise voice against the Israeli singer Eden Golan's participation in the song contest. The demonstration comes as both Switzerland and the Netherlands have clinched spots in the grand final scheduled to be held on Saturday, joining Israel.

Eden Golan, 20, an Israeli solo singer, qualified with her song "Hurricane" for Saturday's grand event, which will witness 26 countries performing.(X)
Eden Golan, 20, an Israeli solo singer, qualified with her song "Hurricane" for Saturday's grand event, which will witness 26 countries performing.(X)

Nearly 1,00,000 visitors have arrived in Malmo to attend the annual kitsch under the presence of heavy police deployment as authorities gear up for possible unrest.

Eden Golan, 20, an Israeli solo singer, qualified with her song "Hurricane" for Saturday's grand event, which will witness 26 countries performing.

Earlier, Golan was reportedly warned by Israel's national security agency Shin Bet to not step out from her hotel room since Malmo was anticipating more pro-Palestinian rallies.

During her performance, Golan was greeted with boo's as well as cheers, according to a Reuters report.

Greta Thunberg says ‘outrageous’ as Eurovision rejects calls to remove Israel

Despite the ongoing protest against Israel, Eurovision organisers have denied calls to remove Israel due to its military incursion in Gaza, calling the singing contest a nonpolitical event. Nevertheless, they eliminated Russia after its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Thunberg, 21, attended the Stop Israel demonstration in the city centre on Thursday,

"Young people are leading the way and showing the world how we should react to this," Thunberg said while wearing a keffiyeh, a traditional scarf symbolising Palestinian resistance.

"It’s outrageous and inexcusable for Eurovision to let the Israelis take part while committing a genocide," she added.

Also Read: Greta Thunberg forcibly removed as climate activists block Sweden's parliament

Metal fences and huge chunks of concrete blocks have been installed around the city amid tight security.

The demonstrators were holding posters of 'Stop Genocide', depicting photographs of Gaza citizens injured in the Hamas-Israeli battle.

Other banners featured sentiments such as 'welcome to Genocide Song Contest' and 'stop using Eurovision to whitewash Israeli crimes'.

Police instructed anti-Israel protestors to go back, but they returned to the main crowd after shouting 'free Palestine'.

One X user, who attended the competition, said in a tweet that the mood inside the venue was dreadful. "You could feel the tension. Shouts of 'free Palestine' in the quiet parts. Booing audible in places. People arguing in the standing section."

"The atmosphere was so uncomfortable," wrote another attendee who recorded a video of boos faced by the Israeli artist.

Who is Eden Golan & what she has to say?

After being born in Israel, Golan was raised in Russia. The 20-year-old singer has received death threats ahead of her performances at the competition.

However, she feels her performance will help to bring people together, and she has stayed determined to move ahead in the competition.

In an interview with MailOnline, she said: "I won't let anything break me. I wouldn't say I'm worried. I'm prepared."

Calling the event very crucial especially this year, she told Reuters, "I feel honoured to have the opportunity to be the voice of my country."

Last week, Golan arrived in Malmo wearing a yellow pin signifying support for the release of Hamas hostages.

Claiming that she has no safety issues in the city, the singer stressed that she is already receiving a lot of love and support from her family and the team.

On being asked about the protests, she said: "Protests are of course not pleasant, but I can't wait to be there on stage and try to make people feel something in the three minutes that I have. I'm very focused in my mission."

Around 1,200 people were killed in Israel as a result of the Hamas attack, and approximately 250 were kidnapped and taken to Gaza. Following this, Israel launched a war against the terrorist organisation, killing 34,000 Palestinians, as per the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health.

(With agencies input)

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