Electric Fields highlighted Aboriginal Australian culture during their performance at Eurovision 2024. Now Fred Leone, the Yidaki player who joined Zaachariha and Michael on stage, has revealed he was also paying homage to the people of Palestine during his appearance at semi-final 1.

The instrumentalist has stated in a social media post that his body paint was chosen to represent a watermelon — a symbol that has become associated with supporting Palestine owing to the matching colours of the Palestinian flag.

“That’s a watermelon on my chest. From the river to the sea! 200 million people watched and celebrated while innocent children, mothers and fathers die by the thousands in a GENOCIDE. I’m down with Jewish people. Israel is not Judaism. Israel does not represent Jewish people. I am not down with f*cking GENOCIDE. My Great Grandfather survived three massacres. Our families across so called Australia are the survivors of an ongoing genocide. This was a personal decision. What comes of this no matter how detrimental to my career as an artist is solely dependent on those that hold the power. All my love to the children of Palestine. You can disagree but then history will condemn you as a c*nt.”

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Fred Leone (@fredleone)

Brendan Maclean, one of Electric Field’s backing singers at Eurovision, stated further details on X about Fred’s extra paintwork in a now deleted post:

“Fred […] managed to use his last bit of paint to make one last addition in the centre of his chest.”

“His name is Fred Leone, a proud Butchulla Songman, Aboriginal musician with Tongan and South-Sea Islander roots. And while I’m amazed it made it to live television [any reference to Palestine or the keffiyeh was explicitly banned] I’m not at all surprised he was the one to do it.”

https://twitter.com/macleanbrendan/status/1788152685201408056

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Ifty
1 month ago

And not one word on “I am done with Jewish people”.

Ifty
1 month ago
Reply to  Ifty

I’m down with Jewish people*

Arch
Arch
1 month ago

where is the watermelon? I honestly don’t see it.

Davie
Davie
1 month ago
Reply to  Arch

It’s the white pair of lips in the middle of his stomach

duxx
duxx
1 month ago

Stop with this stupidity.
Now anyone can say that they had something special on their bodies that represented support for palestinians.

Davie
Davie
1 month ago
Reply to  duxx

Could not agree more. It’s easy to be courageous after the event but having an unidentifiable white circle painted on your chest is not exactly a protest.

Cassette
Cassette
1 month ago

We love you Fred. Well done for doing your part to raise awareness.

Jorg
Jorg
1 month ago

#Respect. Thanks, Australia!

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
1 month ago

That’s amazing. Made me love the Australian entry even more. Hopefully they come back stronger next year.

Ana
Ana
1 month ago

I wonder how the history remembers people who justify killing Jews. Could have sworn there’s a word for that. Something with a Z

Ana
Ana
1 month ago

That’s just pathetic

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago

Didgeri do!

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Jimmy

Like… should I be judging Fred now for using the phrase we discussed?

For example. Just trying to explain my reasoning for asking the question.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

P.S. Obviously Fred, like Ireland, knows all about the impacts of occupation.

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Well, they at least know their own specific experiences, rather than necessarily knowing “all about” occupation in all its forms.

Australia is an interesting counterpoint to Israel-Palestine, because any notion of “de-occupying” the continent, “returning” it to aboriginal peoples, or removing the “settler population” is simply not part of the discourse on identity and rights in Australia, and isn’t really being called for by anyone. They’re trying to move forward progressively as one milkali.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Jimmy

History must have featured in the recent referendum debate, though? That result shows how much progress has been made… or not.

History is really an awful lot for anyone to get a firm grasp of. I am no expert in any of the subjects I often chime in on*, all we can do is make an effort to learn!

*Except Sandie Shaw

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

The referendum was an attempt to rebalance the historical marginalisation of Australia’s aboriginal populations, so definitely history was involved.

My point was that they’re focussed on reconciliation. It’s the same approach that Mandela took in South Africa.

“From the river to the sea” is distinctly not reconciliation. Its ultimate implication is the removal of a whole population and their claim to have a home. No one’s talking about that in Australia. Very few people talk about that in South Africa.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Jimmy

Right, well then use of that phrase can not be justified no matter what the intent is.

Case closed?

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Perhaps. I certainly wouldn’t use the phrase myself.

Even if it’s not justified, some people may use the phrase in solidarity and not really think through its implications, or may have a benign (or naive) hope for what would happen to the Jewish population in Israel-Palestine if Israel was disbanded.

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Have you been to the Eurovision village, Jonas?

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Jimmy

No, I am far far away this year. It would have been doable, but I opted against. I’ve already checked it off my bucket list, so didn’t really feel the need. Everything looks and feels so different to 2013, though, so I’m having twinges of regret.

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Far far away in Sweden…or out of the country?

I can’t tell if you just mean you’re a long drive away, or you’re in New Zealand or southern Chile or something 🙂

Yeah, it looks wonderful. Shame you can’t go, although like you say, at least you already experienced last time in Malmö

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Jimmy

No, no… nowhere near THAT far away. Life has changed since 2013 is all. I still could have gone without worrying about accommodation costs, but other logistics just got in the way.

Plus I always prefer watching on TV anyway. If I was actually there in person, I’d almost feel I was missing it. I am a creature of habit, and attending has just not been the tradition! FOMO wasn’t enough to convince me to enter the ticket race.

P.S. Nice to change the subject. 🙂 I felt we had fallen out for a moment. 🙁

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Fallen out? Not at all! 🙂

I can’t even see where that might have come across. I talking things through with you, but perhaps I’m too used to writing/talking about these kinds of topics straightforwardly or severely.

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago
Reply to  Jimmy

*enjoy talking

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Jimmy

Never mind, I am obviously just even more insecure than I realised…!

A big night ahead of us tomorrow, so time for some zzzzs. Until the next time, my friend!

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

🙂

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Well, at least you’re not as far away as southern Chile 🙂

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

People use the phrase differently, and while some are probably using it as a type of dog whistle, I think it’s fair to say many use it simply to show solidarity with the Palestinian cause. I don’t know how Fred is using the phrase though.

Milan
Milan
1 month ago

There’s a man who doesn’t think much about how he puts it – probably the world would be a better place with more people like that.

Eurogambler
Eurogambler
1 month ago
Reply to  Milan

Takcko Je. By the way – It’s dissapointing to see that Vucic is strengthening Serbia’s ties with Israel during this time.

Eyal
Eyal
1 month ago

Now he tells us about it, what can we do with this message at this stage? there was so much going on stage, how could we even think of the symbol on his chest? the dress, the dancers, the stage where they looked lost. There’s a good chance Australia came last.

Davie
Davie
1 month ago

It’s not particularly courageous to only mention it after the event. Particularly when the symbol looks nothing like a watermelon. Use of the c word isn’t classy.

Peter
Peter
1 month ago

Peace and support to all. Love from Ireland. We understand the pain and struggle. Peace for all.

Ana
Ana
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter

As long as it’s not Jewish pain. Don’t forget to mention that.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
1 month ago

Epic Didgeridoo Guy

Epic Sax Guy who?

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

Amazing! <3

Eurogambler
Eurogambler
1 month ago

Legend! So much respect for the guy.

Caitlin
Caitlin
1 month ago

I mean it barely looks like anything, certainly not recognisably a watermelon. I never ever would have picked that up!

Azuro
Azuro
1 month ago

It’s a smiley face at best.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

This is beautifully written, thanks for commenting Fred!

Ben
Ben
1 month ago

Leave my favorite fruit out of nasty politics and hate.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  Ben

History will remember you.

Ana
Ana
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

History will mock a bunch of clowns who made a fruit that has nothing to do with the thing to become the symbol of the thing. Not to mention that a dozen of other countries have the exact same colors in their flags. It’s just clownery.

Dinle
Dinle
1 month ago
Reply to  Ben

Leave your irrelevant food taste out of one of the biggest injustices a people have suffered for over a century now.