The political drama continues. Israeli attorney and activist Nitsana Darshan-Leitner is calling for the Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to ban Hatari from performing at Eurovision in May as a result of their widely publicised stance on Palestine.
Nitsana is the head of Shurat HaDin, an NGO which offers legal representation for people involved in Jewish and Israeli causes. She argues that Hatari intend to take advantage of the Eurovision opportunity to stage a protest against Israel.
The Icelandic BDSM — note that’s not BDS — band have been politically outspoken since before they were selected to represent Iceland.
They told Israeli TV station Channel 13, “if Eurovision 2019 is not a political affair, then the Likud Party is a pop band and Netanyahu is the lead singer”.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner on Hatari
This is what Ms. Darshan-Leitner had to say on the matter in a statement sent to wiwibloggs.
“We received information that the band representing Iceland supports a boycott of Israel. Last summer, the band signed a petition distributed in Iceland calling for the boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest. After being selected, Hatari announced that it intended to protest against Israel on stage at the Eurovision Song Contest, despite the fact that it would violate the rules of competition.”
“According to the amendment to the Entry into Israel Law, a person who is not an Israeli citizen or in possession of a permanent residence permit in Israel will not be granted a visa or residency permit, if he or the organization or body he is working for has knowingly issued a public call to boycott Israel, as defined in the Law for Prevention of Damage to State of Israel through Boycott. The Icelandic band publicly and explicitly called for and supported a boycott of Israel. They must be prohibited from entering the country.”
The Interior Minister has issued a reply, stating that the organisations request would be considered upon receipt of a written letter. “In line with the amended law, the interior minister will receive a recommendation from the authorized body, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, and only then make a decision.”
No decisions have been made yet. But it’s clear political rumbling will continue to rattle on between now and May.
Hatari would argue that any event hosted in Israel is inevitably political, but others would see their planned political statement as removed from the spirit of Eurovision and inappropriate for an apolitical song contest.
What do you think? Do you think Hatari should be banned from performing a Eurovision? Let us know in the comments!