In the run up to Eurovision 2019, Iceland’s Hatari were pretty blunt about their support for Palestine and their discomfort performing in Israel. Ahead of the show they’d suggested they would spark controversy in a big way, even issuing a statement on the matter. “[We] don’t think there will be a Palestinian flag on stage,” they said. While one could claim they ultimately kept their promise, the band did break the EBU’s no-politics rule. And that was before the cameras even went live.

The Palestinian flag incident

As we already know, the Icelandic act couldn’t help but show their solidarity with the Palestinian nation during the Eurovision voting segment. They did that by waving a banner with the Palestinian flag in the green room during the televoting procedure.

Today RÚV has announced that the EBU has decided to fine them. The Icelandic broadcaster will pay 5,000 euros, which, to many, won’t seem particularly punitive. Even so, RÚV has objected to the EBU’s penalty, saying they are “dissatisfied with the handling of the case and the proposed outcome.”

The broadcaster stated that they had taken all possible measures to avoid breaking the EBU’s rules, hinting that Hatari’s actions were their own responsibility.

The aftermath

RÚV also stressed that the participating broadcaster can never completely prevent artists from saying or doing anything that might contradict the rules of the competition. They are, after all, independent performers.

Despite the drama, RÚV is still proud of Iceland’s contribution to the competition this year. Hatari eventually finished 10th on the night — the country’s best result in a decade. “Hatari were impressive and attracted a lot of attention”, the statement said.

After the contest in Tel Aviv, some fans worried that the EBU might ban Iceland from participating in the 2020 edition. But not to worry: RÚV claim that is no longer an option. Iceland has already confirmed their participation, and song submissions are now open.

What do you think of this solution? Were officials too strict? Too lenient? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more Iceland Eurovision news here

Comments on this post are now closed.

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Uw Frigo
Guest
Uw Frigo

Echt zot

Ron
Guest
Ron

It’s ironic reading the comments here people complaining how unfair this is because when you pull up the article about Iveta raising the flag of Negorno Karabagh everyone was screaming that Armenia has to be banned. It’s even more ironic that the flag of Palestine was intended to offend the host broadcaster and the host nation whereas most people didn’t even notice the NK flag.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

I think Iceland, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Armenia, Serbia, Montenegro ,Romania,Georgia should be banned for 2020. All have various reasons such as jury cheating, buying votes, bad behaveior etc so bann all of them for 1 year and then start clean. Then start banning for 1 year again if someone break the rules.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Yes, let’s ban all countries except for the ones you like.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

democratic countries i like

vox
Guest
vox

You have no right to ban anyone. If anyone should be banned is someone who was a contest producer since 2016 and was acting in favor of his country. Does that ring a bell Christer?

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

maybe you should move to a country where you can hate swedes? i pray for you:)

Jack
Guest
Jack

lol thats how fascism looks like, shall we rename it swedenvision or european melfest?

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

Maybe you should move to North korea where everyone thinks a like? i pray for you:)

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Can’t you ban yourself from the internet instead?

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

Norh Korea would like you have you. There you can have only ONE opinion. You would be happy there:).

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

You are confusing me with yourself. It’s you who only has the one opinion.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

my opinion is not 100% serious. It was just an idea. I just like a fair ESC:) Politics in ESC is not fun anymore.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Romania? Are you a Laura Bretan or Bella Santiago stan?

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

haha no. i didnt even meant something bad. It was just an idea for a ESC new clean start. But again then the Sweden hate starts. I dont really like ESC fans. I wonder if the sweden hate will be every year. hope not…. in here it is A LOT

Bella
Guest
Bella

Double standards, as always (the Armenian broadcaster didn’t get any fine for the exact same meaningless incident). I’ve got to say, good job to Israel for managing to impose its political agenda on totally unrelated foreign institutions, as always.

Bella
Guest
Bella

Starting a GoFundMe campaign to raise the €5k and pay back the Icelandic broadcaster (just for the symbolism of it). We’ll raise it in no time, and will even make enough to sponsor Hatari’s next trip to Palest. 😉

Ron
Guest
Ron

Actually Armenia was punished. Neither EBU nor AMPTV published the amount of fine. But EBU’s selective restriction of flags (for instance you can raise the flag of Wales or Catalonia but not of Negorno-Karabagh or Palestine) is what’s the issue here.

Gil Dadia
Guest
Gil Dadia

This punishment is a joke, it wont prevent the next political act….

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

That’s the EBU’s intention.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I don’t think so. You mean the EBU want people to be political? I would say it’s more a case of the EBU being absolutely toothless when it comes to enforcing their own rules.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Both situations to be honest.

Ana
Guest
Ana

Amm, RUV can now sue Hattari for a breach of contract and get their money back. Too bad it’s only 5k Euros.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

how much was azerBUYjan fined in 2013 for buying votes from half of europe, again ? i would’ve fined iceland a symbolic €1 lmao

Tusán
Guest

Well unfortunetaly it was never proven.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Trust me, Azerbaijan and EBU had a long standing under the table “agreement” since 2009. That’s why they were never punished for interrogating their citizens for voting for Armenia or yet worse for pulling the plug when Armenia’s song came on in 2009 and blacking their voting number.

TRENT
Guest
TRENT

€50 000 – who cares! It was worth every penny! The message that Hatari communicated suprpasses any fine! Hats off to these guys who spoke up for humanity!

Bella
Guest
Bella

It’s even less than that, €5.000 (not 50). It’s nothing, I bet it’s less than just the flights to fly the delegation from Iceland to Israel, lol… Still, it should have been 0.

Khazar
Guest

Then they should ban armenia. ?veta took fake flag against Azerbaijan

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

I was hoping for something more serious though, but ok
You can support the idea of the Palestinian state, but you’ve got to admit that it was bringing politics into the contest which is forbidden :\
Let’s hope for a more peaceful contest next year with no politics regarding The Netherlands or any other nation and lots of luck to Iceland to keep their score high

Ronald
Guest
Ronald

Shame for the contest and shame for the EBU. SHAME.

Marty Mc CU
Guest
Marty Mc CU

I don’t think RUV should have been fined at all. A written warning or a statement of dissatisfaction from the EBU would suffice laying out the terms of participation and the rules of participation. should be in line with preventing any political statements being made. It wasn’t a big deal in the first place. Have the EBU fined Madonna and Kan TV too ? For a similar stance? No they haven’t.

Tusán
Guest

Madonna’s message was about the desire that one day Israel and Palestine can exist next to each other in peace. Hatari’s message was ‘screw Israel, we’re with Palestine’. Surely you can understand why it was so disrespectful to Israel who hosted the contest. I mean when you’re a guest in someone else’s home you won’t disrespect them by sh.tting in the middle of the living room either. Tho I do think giving them a fine won’t solve anything, EBu should’ve asked RUV to write an apologetic open letter to KAN and EBU should’ve reprimanded them openly too.

JOWST NE
Guest
JOWST NE

Oh please, 5,000€ is nothing, an average cost of a nice holiday somewhere!

Hatari did their manifesto and exposed the relentless scams of the apartheid state of Israel and its whitewashing!

Hatari, you’re our saviours!

Gil Dadia
Guest
Gil Dadia

Like you know anything about the conflict..israel is the only good thing in the middle east…instead of supporting this country uneducated haters like you say nonesense

Jan Jan
Guest
Jan Jan

Should’ve been 50.000 €uries!!!! (and disqualification for the next 500 contests).

JOWST NE
Guest
JOWST NE

DQ from the next 500 contests? A bit much I’d say!

ADd
Guest
ADd

Because there’s a guarantee that there’ll be 500 more contests.

Bella
Guest
Bella

Yeah, right. Let’s also publicly shame them, seize their property, put their kids in jail and freeze all their assets, all that for showing a flag on TV for 5 seconds. Overreacting much?

trackback

[…] Trots att det är en låg summa och landet inte blir avstängt från ESC 2020 så är RÚV inte nöjda med resultatet då de menar att de gjort allt de kunnat för att förhindra att Hatari skulle bryta mot några regler. Enligt dem så kan ett TV-bolag aldrig helt hindra en artist från att säga eller göra saker som bryter mot tävlingsreglerna och tycker därför att straffet är felaktig. (Källor: ruv.is och wiwibloggs.com) […]

elpa
Guest
elpa

I also think that they should have got more significant punishment.
What annoying me in what they do is that they metaphorically punch in the face of every Israeli after raising their sworn enemy flag.
When the Israelis host the band magnifically to show them that not everything they read on the media is right.
To explain that I would like to ask everyone from the Netherlands, especially those who will work in the production.
How do you feel if one of the participant next year will insult your country or the citizens of your country, mainly after you help them in everything?

elpa
Guest
elpa

a better way to show that:
imagine that one of the people in the green room show a banner that tells “x should conquer this (curse) country and all the people who live here are (curse)”
Does someone think the media and public in Nederland won’t be furious and call the EBU to ban this country?

Bella
Guest
Bella

They insulted no one, they showed their support for an oppressed people. It’s criticism of Israel’s foreign policy, not a personal insult to any citizen.

If you feel insulted by that, you’re just projecting your own political agenda to this non-event… Which is your problem, not Hatari’s, and certainly not that of “every Israeli”. I have a lot of Jewish or even Israeli friends here in the US, a lot of them are sympathetic to the Palest cause.

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

Without saying whether it is justified or not, €5.000 is not that much. You would expect the EBU to make a strong message that (“uninvited unplanned”) political statements are not tolerated (although they sometimes do). You want to warn other broadcaster to not let this happen in the future; otherwise some broadcasters which are strongly connected to controversial governments i.e. think, oh the consequences are not thát hard, we can take the Risk. You never know for sure. Now it was just a flag and scarve, but what more extreme thing might happen in the coming decade(s)?

Irrealaerri
Guest
Irrealaerri

They are 5000€ closer to bankrupting the Icelandic economy and destroying capitalism! Everything is according to schedule.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

The 5000 EUR was definitely worth it – well done Hatari – you are Eurovision legends

Gil Dadia
Guest
Gil Dadia

You like terrorists i see…israel is the country to be proud of in the middle east…you are confused or just uneducated

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

Look, I don’t profess to understand what’s going on in the Middle East. My objection is to the vitriol that an intelligent, thought-provoking act received from a supposedly friendly, modern country. Israel should take a long hard look at Iceland, and then you’ll see where you are going wrong.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Ridiculous! Poor RÚV… It is not the broadcaster’s fault, if the artists don’t know how to behave politely on the international carpet…

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

Well, this should teach broadcasters to sign a binding contract with their representatives stating that if they deliberately break an EBU rule then they will have to personally face any financial consequences. Especially with representatives so prone to provocation.
Obviously the EBU has no authority over individual singers or band, they can only enforce fines on broadcasters.

NickC
Guest
NickC

Completely stupid. Nikki and Serhat waved Turkish flag, many artists waved rainbow flag. Gay people exist, [email protected] people exist and trying to suppress their existence with fascist police state reinforcements will not change anything. Let people use Eurovision to freely express their opinion as long as it is not hate speech. I would have supported the punishment if Hatari was suggesting some anti Semitic propoganda. They simply showed their sympathy to a group of suffering people. The moment we develop some emphaty towards all persecuted people, whether it is LGBT, women, Jewish Arab or gay then this site as well… Read more »

NickC
Guest
NickC

Completely stupid. Nikki and Serhat waved Turkish flag, many artists waved rainbow flag. Gay people exist, Palestinian people exist and trying to suppress their existence with fascist police state reinforcements will not change anything. Let people use Eurovision to freely express their opinion as long as it is not hate speech. I would have supported the punishment if Hatari was suggesting some anti Semitic propoganda. They simply showed their sympathy to a group of suffering people. The moment we develop some emphaty towards all persecuted people, whether it is LGBT, women, Jewish or gay then this site as well as… Read more »

Rob
Guest
Rob

What about Madonna? She should have gotten a penalty for her performance, let alone the political aspect. Why hurt Hatari, but not Madonna? Can someone explain this, please?

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

How come Azerbaijan and Armenia are allowed to politicise the event year after year? Have they ever, in all their years of competing, given each other a point?

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Were Azerbaijan punished that time they police-interrogated their own citizens who dared to televote for Armenia?

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

It’s the same even with the Junior contest! Won’t anybody think of the children?

Larry
Guest
Larry

In 2009 they exchanged ONE point

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

That must have been a computer glitch.

TheDrMistery
Guest
TheDrMistery

Azerbaijan never gave any points to Armenia.

Armenia gave 1 point to Azerbaijan in 2009.

Ron
Guest
Ron

In fact yes! In 2008 Armenia gave 2 points in SF to Azerbaijan and gave 1 point in the final of 2009 to Azerbaijan. And this year, Armenian public placed Chingiz 11th

Icel
Guest
Icel

I don’t RUV is responssible for this. Hatari are. They should’ve paid it.

Trash KAN
Guest
Trash KAN

Still a petty penalty. EBU is only doing this for formality.

Sally
Guest
Sally

They should be fining Hatari – and a lot more than a measly 5000 Euros.

James
Guest
James

How much is five thousand euros in US dollars?

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

$5,500

James
Guest
James

That actually sounds hefty, at least if I was a public broadcaster.

Alex
Guest
Alex

5000 euro is nothing…stop complaining..

Sal
Guest
Sal

Good but should have been more. I hope RUV send white saviours Hatari the invoice.

Jorge
Guest
Jorge

Congrats, EBU. You just put an absurdly low price tag on politicizing your contest.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

It’s a small fine but still they shouldn’t have to pay in the first place. Given how contentious the idea of hosting in Israel was it was inevitable that a Palestinian flag would get woven somewhere. Moreover Hatari were just reiterating what Icelandic foreign policy is. Wonder how much. Armenia were charged over Iveta’s flag in 2016?

trackback

[…] bir meblağ olarak görülse de İzlanda tarafı EBU’nun cezasına itiraz ettiklerini, olayın ele alınma şeklinden ve varılan sonuçtan memnun […]

Tigg
Guest
Tigg

Where’s Madonna’s fine?

KESC
Guest
KESC

Ridiculous and no it’s not justified!!

Soda vomitstream
Guest
Soda vomitstream

Guys should i start a go fundme for them? Us soda dreamers should stick together in these heartless times!

Filastin huratan , free the country <3

Tajikistan
Guest
Tajikistan

No

Soda vomitstream
Guest
Soda vomitstream

This is inhumane, i’m holding in my tears so hard right now 🙁 🙁

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

EBU is spineless. Should have been £500,000 at least.
Even for a tiny country like Iceland, the broadcaster has millions

James
Guest
James

Budgets for public broadcast are highly dependent on finding sources from their national government or through taxes, depending on the country. So money has always been tight and had to be spent accordingly.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

So they only got a 5000 euro fine and they still be complaining?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

As they should. A cent is too much.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Ah well , it could have costed them their lifes you know. Only thing they needed to do is cross the border and switch that flag into a rainbow banner.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

lol yeah, that’s totally the same thing. They were so close to dying in that greenroom. All they had to was run out of there, head over to Palestine with a rainbow banner. They literally escaped death in the last second there.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

lol yeah, that’s totally the same thing. They were so close to dying in that greenroom. All they had to do was run out of there, head over across the boarder. with a rainbow banner. They literally escaped death in the last second there.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Yeah, this fun argument of “try being gay and quirky in Palestine” falls flat when you remember they made a single with a queer Palestinian pop star (during Eurovision season) and filmed the video in Palestine, doesn’t it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy84LnL_ghA

Funkycoffin
Guest
Funkycoffin

How much did Madonna had to pay?

me enjaja
Guest
me enjaja

It took the EBU months to come up with a €5000 fine. Not surprised that the EBU is spineless – if they didn’t do anything when Matthías said “the a*******d was clear”, they weren’t going to do anything too bad now imo.

James
Guest
James

Or probably just months ago when the EBU had their periodic meetings with its members and only now did we get info about it.

esc stan
Guest
esc stan

Four months is four months.

123
Guest
123

And they are objecting to this pathetic punishment? They are so entitled and obnoxious and should be happy they weren’t banned….

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

How to fine a country without any sensible reason- Tutorial by the EBU.

Joseph Mendy
Guest
Joseph Mendy

That’s far too lenient. Should have been further consequences

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Like what? Disqualifying the most peaceful and democratic country on earth while keeping shady quasi dictatorships in the game? Doesn’t seem very Eurovision-y somehow. Maybe EBU-y, though.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

It goes to show how ridiculous the EBU is. Basically, broadcasters and artists can do anything, the EBU is toothless and spineless. They’ll just demand 2000-5000 euros for incidents that should not be fined in the first place and give a pass to all the real infractions. Where’s Madonna’s fine for the very same thing? Where’s the fine for whoever screwed up the voting?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

The power play between Ukraine and Russia in 2017 was far more interesting than this little banner, btw. What a boring thing to turn into a scandal. Had there not been such loud booing, I wouldn’t even have noticed it. I honestly got so bored with their act of looking bored/emotionless towards the end.