April 21, 2024

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Eurovision 2024: Israel agrees to change the lyrics of the song October Rain

Eurovision 2024: Israel agrees to change the lyrics of the song October Rain

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Eden Golan will represent Israel in this year's competition

Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation has requested changes to the lyrics of the song submitted for this year's Eurovision contest.

The organizers banned it last week for violating the rules of political neutrality.

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation “Kan” had pledged not to change the lyrics of the song “October Rain” – a clear reference to Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7.

But Israeli President Isaac Herzog called for “necessary amendments” to ensure Israel's ability to enter the exhibition.

Israel has won the Eurovision Song Contest four times before. This year's event will be held in Sweden – which won last year's content – in May.

Kan is currently selecting its entry, with October Rain the lead and Dance Forever the runner-up.

CAN said in a statement on Sunday that it had contacted the songwriters and asked them to “rework the texts while maintaining their artistic freedom.”

She added that President Herzog “stressed that at a time when those who hate us seek to suppress and boycott the State of Israel,” the state must “raise its voice” in international forums.

Last month, when the European Broadcasting Union said it was evaluating the song's lyrics, Kahn said he had “no intention of replacing the song.”

The entry into Israel, which will be performed by 20-year-old singer Eden Golan, is scheduled to be confirmed next Sunday.

They include the lines “They were all good kids, every one of them” and “Who told you boys don't cry / Hours and hours / And flowers / Life's no game for cowards.”

The reference to flowers was important, according to the Israel Hayom newspaper, because they often refer to war dead.

In previous years, the European Broadcasting Union forced national acts to change the lyrics of their songs.

In 2009, Georgia withdrew from the event after its proposed participation – “We don't want to enter” – was rejected because of its apparent references to the Russian president.

Separately, musicians from other Eurovision countries called for Israel's membership to be suspended due to the war in Gaza.

These include artists from Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, many of whom point out that Russia has been left out since its large-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago.

So far, Eurovision organizers have resisted these calls, arguing that the situation in Ukraine and Gaza is different.

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