Hatari Eurovision 2019 Iceland Israel

They challenged Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a trouser wrestling match before they were even selected for Eurovision. Yet despite calls for them to be blocked from entering the country, Iceland’s Hatari have arrived in Tel Aviv and completed their first rehearsal.

Following their run through, the “Hatrið mun sigra” performers caught up with our William. The discussion covered the typical Eurovision chit chat — staging, symbolism, fire.

But given their previous outspokenness and the latest flare-up in tensions, William had to ask the performance group’s frontmen — Matthíás and Klemens — for their thoughts.

Alluding to the escalation in violence between Israeli forces and Hamas militants, which has resulted in 20 deaths at the time of writing,  William asks if this has changed their perception of their trip to Eurovision.

Matthías answers: “Of course, we’re very conflicted about being here in this contest. But I feel as participants we have the power to address the absurdity really of having a contest like this, which is a beautiful thing that is founded in the spirit of unity and peace, but hosting it in a country that’s scarred by conflict and disunity”.

“It’s of course really political and contradictory. And there’s bound to be tension in all the participants”.

Klemens reveals that some members of the group visited Hebron, a Palestinian city south of Jerusalem, on Saturday. “We had Palestinian guides take us around the H2 area, which is in the middle of the old town where there are three Israeli settlements and a military base. And there are these streets that we walked along which are called ‘ghost streets’ or ‘ghost town’ and all the Palestinian businesses have been closed down and the segregation is so clear because Palestinians are not allowed to enter these ghost streets”.

Matthías adds: “So of course, the occupation has many faces. A clear one is definitely the one you mentioned in the south now around Gaza. But you can also see it so obviously on the West Bank and many other places here in this country. The political reality is really conflicting and absurd. And the apartheid was so clear in Hebron”.

However, Klemens hopes that the group can shine a spotlight on the matter through their Eurovision appearance: “We still believe that we can bring this critical conversation or make awareness of the situation here with our message and our gender setting powers. And hopefully, we will make awareness to the world through Eurovision”.

Hatari (Iceland) Interview at Eurovision 2019

And what of their performance? Is their prop a grenade?

“It can also be interpreted as a globe. It’s from our logo, or the logo of our holding company – Relentless Scam Incorporated. It portrays something that constrains you, obviously, like a cage. Something dangerous like a grenade. But it’s also because the state that we address in our song is a global one, so there’s a globe on the stage”.

And on a lighter note, what is the most bizarre question they’ve been asked on the Eurovision promotional tour? — “Do you like donuts”?

Both men confirm that they do indeed like the deep-fried doughy treats. Although Klemens misheard the interviewer and thought she was asking about Donald.

Follow all of our Iceland Eurovision 2019 news.

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poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Looking at these comments….not just on this article, but all wiwi articles in general…why is it that people who hate on performers always happen to have worse grammar and english skills compared to the people who don’t do that?

Soleil
Guest
Soleil

Is PabloK an employee of the BDS (BE THE ASS) movement???….. This is a music blog platform dear – not a nauseous propaganda diarrhea

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

oh hush Frisian esc we all know the main reason you keep giving Hatari a hard time because people see them as actual competition for Duncan

PabloK
Guest
PabloK

Israelis are masters of communication (they even had a TV show called “The Ambassador”, to find the person that’s the best at bullsh*tting to create a better image for Israel abroad – google it). Every time someone calls out their illegal settlements and their apart heid regime, they immediately shift the conversation to: 1. “Oh, so you support terror ism?!”… which is ridiculous cause OF COURSE no one supports that, not against Israel, not against ANYONE. 2. “We support gay rights”… Sure yeah, cause as everyone knows, gay rights give you the right to occupy foreign land and then moan… Read more »

Idan Cohen
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Idan Cohen

So according to you, there is absolutely no problems with the immigrants from the middle east and north Africa?

PabloK
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PabloK

Nice dodging, thank you for perfectly demonstrating my point.

Soleil
Guest
Soleil

Israel does not need a good image (it already has!!! (Advanced Society, Technology and Economy)). From your comment – one can only learn that Europeans like YOU PABLO K simply need some more Education…..(especially History). Israel does not occupy any land – It just liberated its OWN land from the squatters that occupied it – from the exodus of the local Israelites (forced by the Europeans at the start of AC) – till their return home 70 years ago. Cèst tout!!

PabloK
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PabloK

Funny how not one single country in the world recognizes that “liberation” (because of a little detail called “international law”). But I guess all 194 countries need history education (preferably taught by some Israeli government agency ;)).

Soleil
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Soleil

As of December 2018: 163 of the 193 UN member states recognize Israel, Only 30 UN member states do not recognize Israel (From which 22 are Arab states). Learn dear… Learn…

PabloK
Guest
PabloK

And you learn to read: I was of course not talking about Israel but about the territories illegally occupied through the colonisation policy and the Golan Heights. But again, nice dodging, once again perfectly proving my point.

Soleil
Guest
Soleil

Proving nothing dear (aka your point). Israel does not need recognition of ANY nation (whatsoever) to it´s Historical and Biblical land – which in fact is instated thousands of years even before the birth of any of the 194 nations you have mentioned (you fool). If you have any issues, complaints or grievances – consult and address to the Bible (not wikipedia) 🙂

PabloK
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PabloK

Sure, Israel doesn’t need recognition… which is why you copy-pasted the number of countries recognizing Israel (when you mistakenly thought this is what I was talking about). If you supposedly don’t care, why did you bother? Don’t waste time answering, I know the answer. 😉 If all the countries were behaving like yours and randomly claiming foreign territories regardless of international laws, the entire world would constantly be at war. My initial comment was related to communication: every time someone calls out Israel’s illegal settlements and their apart heid regime, they immediately dodge the comment and shift the conversation to… Read more »

Soleil
Guest
Soleil

You call it “bother” – and I call it “Education”. You see PabloK…, I even gave it to YOU completely FREE!!…. Well mannered people would say now: Thank You! (Now Pablo, it`s time to show us all – how mannered YOU are) 🙂

Soleil
Guest
Soleil

Ha ha ha ha ha…… The most hilarious (and totally delusional) comments from Hatari…. When the heck they changed their act from music to “Stand Up Comedy”?? Ha ha ha ha ha …… R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S (!!) is still an understatement 🙂 Ha ha ha ha

Kosey
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Kosey

About 3 months ago – glad you’ve finally got it!

Meliris
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Meliris

….since some years ago, satire has always been a key ingredient of the award-winning anti-capitalist bdsm performance art electro-industrial EBM dadaist synthpunk ice-pop unicorns of doom in black leather Hatari…

Meliris
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Meliris

Great interview, they are brilliant, …Duncan Donalds..

Ffs
Guest
Ffs

They’re not only aesthetically insulting but pushing their political agenda blatantly. They should be kicked out or even better flop.

Alphalpha
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Alphalpha

Too bad for you, neither will happen. I support Hatari and object to Israeli Apartheid.

gili
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gili

No votes to iceland from israel…miserable people looking for attention on the back of the host country, shame

Alphalpha
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Alphalpha

Ive never met a more insufferable people than Israelis

Soleil
Guest
Soleil

Most miserable comment – coming (most likely…) from a miserable soul….. Sad Alphalpha. Get some help honey…

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Found the racist.

ydan
Guest
ydan

Frisian esc, stop talking to a wall. History will repeat itself, because people never learn, not even from what happened on their own continent. This is Europe where half of it killed capitalism, and now is a mess for European Union to solve. People never learn. I’m romanian and I think freedom is still better than being a slave for a central government ruling your life (including s e x life, even hetero). You have no idea.

ydan
Guest
ydan

@Frisian esc
Don’t bother. I’m romanian, and at this point I think “history repeating” is inevitable. It will come again the system that my country fought so much against. It’s so painful to me, but maybe this is how history works, it repeats itself.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

And this is the point of Hatari’s song, I really wish you could see that they are trying to avoid history repeating itself.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

And how is that so? By drilling israel into the ground?

Kosey
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Kosey

Reading some of the comments in this thread makes me want Iceland to win even more. I can’t think of anything more important than sending a message about what kind of human society most people want to live in.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

You mean a communistic islamic one? Yes i hope , iceland wins. Then i can post my political messages all year trough just like they did. + It would probably break netta’s record of most disliked eurovision video on youtube. Remember all publicity is good publicity when you are a eurofan 😉

ydan
Guest
ydan

H a t a r i were fun for awhile, but it gets too serious. They will lose votes from now on.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

You should know better. expect hordes of care-bears screaming “Islamophobia” at you In 3… 2… 1…

You know, the usual way of shutting criticism against the barbarity of Islam.

and also:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8OCvT4ysLI

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Hagrid Mun Sigra, mon ami

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

That sounds like an excellent idea, this thread would have been a lot better without the negativity you have been spreading. Freedom of speech and freedom of thought is important to me, but every time someone tries to say something which is trying to find a solution, it is shut down, so yes, it would be good to have people trying to work towards something better rather than continuing this crazy hatred which will get everyone nowhere.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Hatari: “wE HaVe tHe pOwEr tO AdDrEsS ThE AbSuRdItY Of hAvInG EuRoViSiOn iN A CoUnTrY ThAt’s sCaRrEd bY CoNfLiCt aNd dIsUnItY”

Ron
Guest
Ron

With all due respect, this interview and post is completely unnecessary and against the spirit of the contest. If Hatari was so against the contest being hosted in Israel, they should have never taken part in their national selection.

Alphalpha
Guest
Alphalpha

Israeli Apartheid will be called out every time by Hatari and anyone with a conscious.

gili
Guest
gili

learn what apartheid is….no education in iceland???

PabloK
Guest
PabloK

If you read the article, you’d see that this is exactly what they’re addressing: “We’re very conflicted about being here in this contest. But I feel as participants we have the power to address the absurdity really of having a contest like this”

Of course, you didn’t read the article, you just read “Hatari” and you jumped to the comment section to attack them.

ESC 2019
Guest

I whould love to see Iceland win the ESC, but not whit this …song. iceland are my favorit land, and love al theres song since – 86.

ydan
Guest
ydan

I disagree with H a t a r i completely. Capitalism is not a bad thing, and if you want to protest against huge multinational companies, and support local businesses, this is still capitalism and it’s fine.
And about Israel, leave it alone, because you will not find your beloved s e x shops in West B.

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

As someone who lives in a country where people frequently DIE because they can’t afford meds like insulin due to the fact that the price of insulin has WAY MORE than doubled in the past 10 years, I feel the need to say that capitalism is like literally your worst enemy if you don’t have perfect health.

ydan
Guest
ydan

Health is one issue that must be addressed, but killing capitalism altogether means killing freedom. You become a slave to the government that can decide to give you nothing, not even a soda that tastes like u r i n e.

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Have you like…paid attention to what they’ve been saying even a little? They’re against capitalism, but have repeatedly admitted how hard it is to live in today’s society without participating in it at least a little bit. They even sell merchandise to get funds because they know the price of what they are trying to do is expensive, for Christ’s sake. Also, from the very beginning this band hasn’t been 100% literal on what they say. I’m pretty sure Hatari would happily settle with just having the biggest issues involving capitalism get put to attention, such as the fact that… Read more »

ydan
Guest
ydan

“You can’t kill capitalism, but it’s still a beast”

Sorry, I don’t want to talk about politics here, but beware. Capitalism can be killed completely. I’m not talking about North K., but about my country Romania. For 50 years, until 1989, capitalism really was killed totally, completely. Please don’t tell me is no danger, it is a slippery slope and just needs a second.

NickC
Guest
NickC

This is probably the interview of the year.

Jeroen
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Jeroen

This criticism on Israel by Hatari is so cliché, predictable and in many aspects unfair, please focus on the song and performance (which is great)

Iran Cohen
Guest
Iran Cohen

in 5 years western Europe falls completely to Islam. mark my words

Bella
Guest
Bella

Sure yeah. I would even say Europe will “fall to Islam” in 2 weeks, and also Germany will be renamed Wurstland and Santa Claus will become Prime Minister of Finland.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

You’re daring to mock my comment? Look at London, Malmo, Paris and Berlin. Look how Sharia laws are slowly creeping in into the European Law Look how the most common name for a baby boy both in the UK and Germany is “Mohammad”! Even Macron said “Political Islam is seeking succession in France”! How are you going to stop it when you make the victims oppressors and the oppressors victims? How are you going to stop it when millions of Muslim immigrants are flooding your continent and slowly change Europe to the Middle East?! How are you going to stop… Read more »

Bella
Guest
Bella

Yes, I “dare to mock you”, cause you’re a laughing stock. 😉

“Open your eye and grow up!”, such a creative catchphrase to end a meaningless post. I’ll try to say that when I leave my business meetings, next time I don’t agree with my boss. xD

NickC
Guest
NickC

You should read academic work by Alberto Alesina from Harvard about perception bias.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

you should the newspapers dear.

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hearing much more lately about terrorist attacks done by far-right white supremacists that kill both muslims AND jews than i’ve been hearing about muslims attacking westerners.

Iran cohen
Guest
Iran cohen

then you should read more news. for every white supremacist terrorist you name, I can name 20 Muslim terrorists. “Islamophobia”, “white supremacy”, “racism” are all excuses made by the far left and the Muslim community to distract criticism on islam and Muslim terrorism. number of people died in the hands of white supremacy is not even 1% of the number of people killed in the name of islam in the last 10 years. it’s like saying “ive been hearing more about flue killing people lately than abola, then abola is not so bad as you think”

NickC
Guest
NickC

Instead of reading yellow press, you should read scientific research
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/soej.12369

NickC
Guest
NickC

I read newspapers, and I am doing research on the topic. Be careful who you argie with, because I am a world recognized authority on the topic.

Bella
Guest
Bella

“Valid concerns”, you mean like those raised by Hatari? 😉 This is my last comment cause I’ve already wasted too much time on you, but dude, what the hell are you talking about? “When someone raises valid concerns, everyone goes automatic”… I think it’s pretty visible to everyone (including you) that I never said that, and in case you’re not sure my comments are right here above for you to read again and again. Also, millions of people live and/or have visited London, Berlin, Paris and Malmö (I myself used to live in 2 of these), millions of people know… Read more »

Fast Food Music Lover
Guest
Fast Food Music Lover

Or worse yet– Capitalism.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Lol don’t bother, If hamas would do a terrorist attack during the eurovision show im sure the eurocommunity would still find a way to blame israel. In amsterdam , once the gay capital of the world, it’s unsafe to walk hand in hand at nighttime nowadays because gay people get all their teeth knocked out by certain people. Luckily for me i don’t live in one the larger urban areas.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

Thanks you for providing a little common sense. As an Israeli, I stand with you. we are all victims of Islamic extremism.

The Netherlands and Israel can be good friends with technological, medical and economical cooperation. It’s a shame the politically correctness that infected Europe like a plague prevents us from accomplishing it.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Hagrid Mun Sigra mon ami

PabloK
Guest
PabloK

lol… There’s no common sense at all in his comment (inventing fake news is not “common sense”). You’re just happy he goes in your direction.

PabloK
Guest
PabloK

Ridiculous… I’m gay and live in downtown Amsterdam (and apparently you don’t), there’s no such thing as “people getting their teeth knocked out”. And even if that happened, that doesn’t give the right to any other country to occupy foreign land (like, please, explain the correlation between criminality in Amsterdam and a 60 year old conflict in the Middle East?). Stop spreading bs just to legitimize your political views.

Why don’t you repeat the Israeli motto: “It’s about love and music, let’s forget about all the rest”. Apply it to yourself too, please.

oli
Guest
oli

They can really be the winners. This gives me hard Lordi vibes.

Bella
Guest
Bella

The closer we get to the contest, the more I can see Iceland get their first win (they’re currently #6 with the bookies). They make me think of Lordi in the sense that they don’t “fit” (they’re the most standout-ish entry this year), and of Loreen who was the only contestant to meet up with human rights associations in Azerbaijan in 2012 (literally the only one who had the balls to put her head out of the sand and address the situation). And I LOVE the fact that they come with a BDSM, dark rock entry to a contest that’s… Read more »

Just me
Guest
Just me

They won’t win. The televotes might like this (just because they have a big fan base, not the general public), but there’s no way the juries will like it so much for it to win. I can see them being 5-6 max at the juries

NickC
Guest
NickC

they can totally win, trust me.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Who is the blond guy and who is the one with brown hair? I always mix up Matthias and Klemens (and before you make jokes: I know that William is in the middle :P).

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Matthias has the brown hair/is the screaming man, and Klemens is the blonde guy who has the falsetto-ish part

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Thank you! Now I can finally make compliments about Matthias’ beauty XD

Gili
Guest
Gili

stfu and mind your own business…dont talk about things you know nothing about…pigs

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Gilli, how many times are you going to comment and be bitter on Hatari posts? The massive amount of dislikes you get clearly shows that nobody ever agrees with you.

aroncido
Guest
aroncido

In all their interviews, they alternate between trolling for meaningless questions, and giving rather daring responses to meaningful questions. They make the regular cheesy answers look very silly. A great addition to the contest, they are.

Yssy
Guest
Yssy

I stand with Israel having the right to host after winning!

bitch
Guest
bitch

such a good interview with a MESSAGE!

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

For those who haven’t read my opinion on this matter before, here it is again: Eurovision is political. Why? Because it involves nations being represented. For example, “Roi” v. “Wake up” is not political, but France v. Belgium is political. That is the distinction. The ESC rule 2.6 is therefore a glaring contradiction in written terms. Island’s band are, clearly, not following rule 2.6, but neither is the contest as a whole. I just watched the meet & greet with the band, and in that interview is possibly my favourite ever press moment, when Mattías said: “BDSM is of course… Read more »

Alaska
Guest
Alaska

Word.

David F
Guest
David F

The rule is important, even here where it is treaded as a fine line.

H a t a r i circumvent the rule through subtlety, indirection, and metaphor, which is also ironic because their techno BDSM is loud and provocative. That is the beauty of art in the place of politics, and the power of music and performance to communicate something more sensitively than the bluntness of political tract.

Escescesc
Guest
Escescesc

They are so contradictious! Anti capitalism but using the capitalism for their conveniences, and now against Israel but they still come in Israel to compete in a song contest………#bipolarity

Bella
Guest
Bella

This is literally what they talk about in this interview, did you even read it? ““Of course, we’re very conflicted about being here in this contest. But I feel as participants we have the power to address the absurdity really of having a contest like this, which is a beautiful thing that is founded in the spirit of unity and peace, but hosting it in a country that’s scarred by conflict and disunity”. They’re trolling, and this is delightful to watch. Just the fact that they come with a BDSM, hard rock act to a contest that’s known for mediocre,… Read more »

Conortje
Guest
Conortje

I made a comment months ago that wasn’t allowed. I basically said ‘let’s have a discussion’. I hate the message ‘let’s not get political’. For all the eurovision fans going to Tel Aviv, by all means go have a party. But also educate yourself. Go to Hebron. Talk to people. Make your own mind up. What’s happening is far too important to keep brushing aside by saying Eurovision isn’t political. This is an opportunity for everyone to learn. There are two sides to this complicated and horrible conflict, go learn about both. And then celebrate eurovision. Don’t just ignore what’s… Read more »

WTF !
Guest
WTF !

Everyday is an opportunity. to learn about this conflict and to have his own opinion, nobody ignores the situation in Israel but no need to wait for Esc for this no need Hatari for this. Don’t mix Esc with the politic it has no sense.
Esc is one week a year don’t pollute it with statements like that.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Do you think the postcards that will be shown in the live finals will show a fair and balanced view of Israel?

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Eurovision Rule 2.6: Non-political event
The ESC is a non-political event. All Participating Broadcasters, including the Host Broadcaster, shall ensure that all necessary steps are undertaken within in their respective Delegations and teams in order to make sure that the ESC shall in no case be politicized and/or instrumentalized.

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Okaaaaay but the EBU has been ignoring various rules for years now.

Netta’s song last year technically broke rules because it referenced multiple trademarked brands and mascots

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

I would have liked that line to be changed, but that rule involves promoting brands. The intention there matters, and it’s clear Netta wasn’t trying to give more business to toy companies with her song. What Hatari did is a much clearer violation, and it concerns me to see so many fans defending them here.

Una
Guest
Una

Yes. Please tell EBU and Georgia this year.

WTF !
Guest
WTF !

OF COURSE the world was waiting for HATARI to know the situation in Israel LOL but who are they thinking they are ?

WTF !
Guest
WTF !

Moreover JON OLA SAND has said and warned no political messages no polotical recoveries and controversies in ESC , you seriously do this to be highlighted but it’s a bad way, as much as you are “maybe” sympathetic be careful guys……

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Are we now saying that promoting love and peace is political? Oh, what’s that I hear…the sound of Leonora getting arrested?

Gili
Guest
Gili

go to sleep kosey, these pigs have nothing in common with peace and love

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

What a thought-provoking interview from a thought-provoking act. Eurovision is a song contest, first and foremost, and long may that continue. But it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Music is all about human emotion and so inevitably it has to reflect the many emotions that we as humans experience. Eurovision has a long tradition of celebrating love and peace and for me, Hatari’s message fits snugly into that ethos. The question remains how can we promote love and peace in a place where both are in short supply? There is a contradiction there and all they are doing is pointing… Read more »

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thanks for this comment. I completely agree.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I think they are using this for extra attention and maybe gain the political vote against Israel from European viewers but i totally see their point and it’s sad what is happening in Israel. All in all, they are not wrong but they are wrong for using this on Eurovision stage for their profit.

aroncido
Guest
aroncido

I don’t think it’s about getting more votes per se. They are using the Eurovision stage to spread a message they believe in and what their song conveys. That’s probably the only sensible goal a Eurovision stage can be used for.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Wow. Thank you, David Smith, for the article. Also thanks to William for the interview. I look forward to the discussions about the contest and its place in international politics.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

They are legends!
Thank you Iceland for this wonderful entry and thank you William for your amazing interview!