It’s been days since their electrifying Söngvakeppnin victory and Iceland’s Hatari are already sparking debate internationally. On Sunday the leather-clad BDSM punk-rock-techno band gave an interview to Israeli TV station Channel 13. They were asked about politics and how they previously challenged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a good old traditional Icelandic trouser wrestling match. As you do.
Take a look at a video capturing the interview which has been uploaded to Youtube. Do not fear, there are English subtitles!
Their standpoint on the political situation in Israel is crystal clear. Have a read of the statements they made during their three-minute interview.
Quotes: Hatari Interview on Channel 13
“If Eurovision 2019 is not a political affair, then the Likud Party is a pop band and Netanyahu is the lead singer.”
“There was a lot of pressure in Iceland to boycott the competition. We have been critical of the competition being held in Israel, but the fact that Iceland voted for us means that they agree with our agenda of keeping alive a critical discussion.”
While the band have not yet revealed what they’ll be bringing to the stage in May, they did promise one thing: “I don’t think, as of now, there will be a Palestinian flag on the stage.”
“It is clear that all of the songs that will be performed on stage in Tel Aviv will in fact offend the sensibilities of many people.”
In what can be interpreted as a light-hearted remark, Hatari revealed they were still up for a wrestling match with the Israeli Prime Minister. However they clarified that this challenge is neither violent nor a threat.
All in all, the report is quite uncomfortable to watch. Neither sides held back. The TV station concluded their report by branding Hatari a gimmick that come May will simply amount to three minutes of airtime on the Tel Aviv stage, only in front of hundreds of millions of viewers.
The Israeli TV station were also quick to label the band as “weird” and “provocative” before pointing out the contradiction between Hatari’s “message of anti-capitalism” and their Sodastream advertising campaign. There was no question of whether the campaign may be ironic.
As with anything that’s subtitled, there’s room for interpretation and we’d love to hear what our readers think of the interview. However, to us it was quite clear that this Israeli media outlet considers their upcoming Eurovision appearance as a political protest against Israel, and Hatari won’t be softening their stance despite Eurovision always being a non-political event.
What do you think? Are Hatari delivering their political message well, or should they be leaving politics away from the Eurovision stage? Let us know in the comments!
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“But juries will mark down Hatari!” Not necessarily. _______________________________ Broadcaster RÚV has revealed how the jury members ranked the five songs, however the data is anonymous so we don’t know which jury member belongs to each set of rankings. _________________________________ The jury rankings show that of the 10 jurors, seven jurors ranked Hatari’s entry first and two ranked “Hatrið mun sigra” last. __________________________________ #eurovisionsongcontest #eurovision #eurovision2019 #esc2019 #söngvakeppnin #hatari