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Eden Golan defies Israel’s Eurovision haters

Her performance was stirring, powerful and precise, despite the boos by pro-Palestinians.

Eden Golan, winner of the reality show “The Next Star to Eurovision,” during the final competition on the show, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo by Koko/Flash90.
Eden Golan, winner of the reality show “The Next Star to Eurovision,” during the final competition on the show, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo by Koko/Flash90.

Despite the immense pressures and challenges, Israel’s Eden Golan triumphed in Thursday night’s Eurovision Song Contest’s semifinal competition in Malmö, a coastal city in southern Sweden At 11:26 p.m., Israel’s representative took the stage and performed her entry, “Hurricane.”

The performance was stirring, powerful and precise, despite the boos by pro-Palestinians who tried to drown out her voice only to have their own noise canceled by organizers, who turned off the crowd’s microphones.

Immediately after qualifying for the finals, Eurovision betting sites elevated Golan’s ranking to second place in the Grand Final scheduled for Saturday.

The countries advancing to the finals from Thursday’s semifinal are Latvia, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Israel, Greece, Estonia, Switzerland, Georgia and Armenia.

As expected, upon Golan’s entrance to the stage, boos were heard, and although not many Palestinian flags were visible, one person was removed from the venue by security personnel. Massive protests took place outside the venue; Golan had to arrive in a convoy of cars with helicopter escorts from above to ensure that she was secure.

According to a leak from the Italian broadcaster RAI, Israel won the semifinal in Italy with 39% of the votes—a strong showing from the home audience.

Eurovision 2024 has been particularly challenging for the Israeli delegation and fans of the competition. All Eurovision-related venues in the city are being heavily secured by hundreds of local police officers. Even at the EuroClub’s dance floor—the official party zone—and in the city’s mall, police officers can be seen patrolling throughout the evening, even when the Israeli delegation is not present. Sharp-eyed observers also noticed snipers positioned on rooftops near the competition area.

Hours before Golan’s performance, thousands of pro-Palestinian activists demonstrated throughout Malmö, demanding the removal of the Israeli delegation. Protesters called for the liberation of “Palestine.”

The chants resonated across Malmö, with demonstrations at several central locations. Among others, environmental activist Greta Thunberg appeared wearing a keffiyeh alongside holders of Palestinian flags.

Many fans chose not to attend the competition due to safety concerns. Those who did attend remained cautious, avoiding confrontations, but did not hesitate to wave the Israeli flag during Golan’s performance.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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