Iceland used the Eurovision Song Contest to protest against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the violation of Palestinian human rights. As the country’s points were announced during the results, the band, Hatari, were seen on camera holding up banners in support of Palestine. Cameras quickly moved away from the band, and hosts Bar Refaeli and Ezra Tel – looking incredibly uncomfortable – moved on to the next score. Protests have been held in Tel Aviv against the backdrop of the Eurovision Song Contest, calling for a boycott of the contest to support Palestinians. The 2019 song contest has been one of the most controversial to date, due to it taking place in Tel Aviv, Israel, following Netta’s win with Toy last year in Lisbon.
There have been many calls to boycott the contest due to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the recent flare-up of violence between the Israeli Army and militants in Gaza. As the first semi-final kicked off, protestors set up shop outside Expo Tel Aviv, where Eurovision is being held, and in Habima Square to demand the removal of Israel’s continuing blockade on Gaza.