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Israel to Change Eurovision Entry Song Lyrics Due to Political Context

Updated: Apr 18

Israel to Change Eurovision Entry Song Lyrics Due to Political Context

In a bid to comply with Eurovision's strict political neutrality rules, Israel is set to modify the lyrics of its potential entry, "October Rain" by singer Eden Golan. The song had faced the risk of disqualification due to its indirect references to the October 7 attacks and the subsequent war in Gaza.

The contested lyrics read, “Who told you boys don’t cry/ Hours and hours/ And flowers/ Life is not a game for the cowards,” raising concerns about a potential breach of political neutrality regulations. Israeli media has speculated that the word "flowers" in the lyrics symbolizes those who lost their lives in the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Amidst the controversy, Israeli television broadcaster Kan, responsible for selecting the country's song entry, initially resisted altering the lyrics. However, a surprising twist occurred when Israeli President Isaac Herzog intervened, urging the broadcaster to make necessary amendments.

The decision marks a departure from Kan's initial stance and highlights the significance of political considerations in the Eurovision Song Contest. President Herzog's intervention shows the importance of adhering to Eurovision's commitment to promoting non-political content in the competition.

This move comes in the wake of mounting pressure from artists representing various countries participating in Eurovision. Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and the host nation Sweden have all voiced concerns and called for Israel's suspension from the competition, citing the war-related controversy.

The Eurovision Song Contest, known for its celebration of diverse music and cultures, has consistently aimed to remain free from political influences.

With the May competition approaching, the eyes of the international community will be on Israel and its revised entry, highlighting the intricate relationship between music, politics, and the pursuit of cultural unity on the Eurovision stage.


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