Robyn or Fever Ray are among the 1,000 Swedish artists who sign a public letter calling for a Eurovision boycott of Israel. This year, Eurovision is held in Mälmo, Sweden, after Loreen’s victory in the last edition.
Other artists who subscribe to the letter are Viagra Boys, El Perro del Mar, Say Lou Lo or Olof Dreijer, brother and partner of Karin Dreijer (Fever Ray) in The Knife.
The letter states that Gaza is mired in a “humanitarian disaster” caused by Israel, notes that “the International Court of Justice in The Hague has recently decided to continue the process in which Israel is accused of violating the Genocide Convention” and points out that “in less than four months, around 100 Palestinian journalists have been murdered” and that “the foreign press is denied access to Gaza, in one of the” greatest attacks on freedom in modern times.
For this reason, the text argues that the European Broadcasting Union is acting with “double standards” and putting its own credibility at stake by allowing Israel to participate in the festival but not Russia last year. He explains: «The EBU justifies its position by saying that the Eurovision song contest is a competition between public service companies and not between states. But the EBU decided in 2022 to exclude Russia from the contest due to the invasion of Ukraine, and in 2021 member companies from Belarus were denied entry to the contest because the country violated the EBU’s press freedom rules.
The letter argues that “the fact that countries that place themselves above humanitarian law are welcome to participate in international cultural events trivializes violations of international law and makes the suffering of victims invisible.”
The signatory artists subscribe that “as cultural professionals, it is our duty to do everything possible to pressure influential actors like the EBU to achieve changes and counter artwashing” and argue that “the fact that Israel’s indiscriminate war in Gaza “was preceded by atrocious war crimes committed by the classified terrorist organization Hamas does not exempt the country from its obligations under international law as a democratic State.”