Iceland officially threatens to boycott Eurovision over Israel's participation

After the European Broadcasting Union assured that Israel would participate in Eurovision 2024 despite the war in Gaza, the Icelandic Broadcasting Authority refuses fall in line and announces it will decide whether to participate in consultation with the winner of the pre-Eurovision contest
Iceland may not show up for this year's Eurovision Song Contest due to Israel's scheduled participation and over the war in Gaza.
The decision whether to participate in Eurovision 2024 will be made only after the pre-Eurovision competition is held in the country, and in consultation with the winner chosen to represent the country, according to RUV, the Icelandic Broadcasting Authority.
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In a message published Tuesday on the RUV website, the authority clarified that it decided to sever the connection between the pre-Eurovision contest and Iceland's participation in the Eurovision itself.
"The song contest will be conducted as before, but no decision will be made regarding Iceland's participation in Eurovision until after the contest, and after consultation with the winner. The reason is the criticism that has arisen regarding Israel's participation in the contest, despite the war in Gaza," according to the authority.
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נועה קירל בגמר אירוויזיון 2023
נועה קירל בגמר אירוויזיון 2023
Noa Kirel performs in the finals of Eurovision 2023
(Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett/EBU)
In recent weeks, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has been pressured to boycott Israel from the Eurovision Song Contest. In Iceland and Ireland, petitions have already been signed on the subject, which call on their broadcasting authorities to withdraw from the competition if Israel does participate in it.
The Icelandic RUV apparently decided to give in to the pressure partially - and postpone the decision until after the pre-Eurovision competition. This, despite the fact that the European Broadcasting Union, in response to Ynet's request, has already stated that Israel will participate in the competition.
According to Stefan Eriksson, one of the directors of the Icelandic Broadcasting Authority, it is understandable that the contestants in the pre-Eurovision contest are concerned about the situation in Gaza.
"The contestants want to be Iceland's representatives in the contest. They are worried about the situation just like us. We announced that we plan to participate in Eurovision without changes, but we don't know what will happen in the future," Eriksson said.
The identity of the winner of the Icelandic pre-Eurovision is expected to be revealed in another month and a half, in March; An official date for the competition has not yet been announced.
The European Broadcasting Union in a statement promised that Israel would participate in Eurovision. "This is a competition for broadcasters - not for governments - and the Israel Broadcasting Corporation has participated in the competition for 50 years," said a statement on behalf of the union. "The EBU is committed to ensuring that the Eurovision Song Contest remains an apolitical event that unites audiences around the world through music. The bodies managing it - led by the board of directors - examined the list of participants in the 2024 competition, and they agreed that the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation meets all the rules of the competition and is allowed to participate in the one that will be held in Malmö in May."
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