“No Reason” to Deny Hatari Entry to Israel, Says Eurovision Official
If Icelandic band Hatari is denied entry to Israel, Eurovision official Jon Ola Sand says, it could lead to backlash against the Israeli government and the competition’s organisers. The band’s members have previously expressed support for the Palestinian cause and have stated they are aiming to “forefront issues that matter,” leading many to speculate Israel would deny the band entry on a political basis.
“We feel humbled and thankful to the Icelandic nation for entrusting us with this daunting task that now lies ahead. We…
“We see no reason why [the members of Hatari] would be denied an entry visa,” Jon Ola, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, told NRK (RÚV reported first). “We have spoken with Israeli authorities and they know that [such a decision] would have backlash for them, both them and local organisers, if someone were denied an entry visa.”
Eurovision contest rules also state that political lyrics, speeches and gestures on stage are not allowed in the preliminaries or in the Eurovision Song Contest. Hatari’s performance is heavy on fascist symbolism, BDSM attire, and lyrics predicting the impending doom of Europe and the triumph of hatred. Israeli organisation Shurat HaDin has made efforts to prevent the band’s participation in the competition, saying they believe the band will use the platform to protest the Israeli government.
Despite the contests’ rules, previous Eurovision submissions have featured political content. Ukraine’s representative Jamala won the 2016 edition with a song about the deportation of the Crimean Tartars in World War II, while Armenia’s submissions in 2010 and 2015 both discussed the Armenian Genocide.