Australia's Eurovision act exposes 'secret' pro-Palestine symbol during performance amid Israel controversy

Australia's Eurovision act exposes 'secret' pro-Palestine symbol during performance amid Israel controversy

Eurovision audience boo and shout 'free Palestine' during Israel performance

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 10/05/2024

- 14:04

The annual Eurovision final will see the remaining 26 countries perform again for their chance to be crowned 2024 winners

The Eurovision Song Contest saw 15 countries compete in the first semi-final of the contest on Tuesday and Australia's entry - Electric Fields - appeared to join in on the pro-Palestine protestations during their performance.

Since the beginning of the competition, there have been multiple acts that have shown their solidarity for Palestinians, including Sweden's own Eric Saade and Ireland's Bambie Thug.

Now, Electric Fields performer Fred Leone - who joined the stage with fellow Yidaki players Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross - has claimed he wore a symbol of a watermelon on his chest as a pro-Palestine message.

The fruit is associated with Palestine because its colours match the state’s flag, leaving Leone to note on his Instagram: "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 doesn’t represent Jewish people. I am not down with fucking 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 dependant on those that hold the power. All my love to the children of Palestine.

"You can disagree that’s fine but history will condemn you as [an idiot]."

Fans of the contest and Electric Fields flocked to the comment section to praise Leone, as one noted: "You rocked it, Fred!"

"Powerful uplifting moment when you hit the stage brother," another remarked before a third added: "I love this. Saade also wore a keffiyeh during his performance.

"Off the back of Bambie Thug confirming that the EBU ordered a costume change, I am glad messages against genocide still came through."

Eric Saade

The Swedish star wore a pro-Palestine symbol during the opening of the contest


Another passionate watcher said: "This! What so many are thinking … your words are power Fred. Completely agree."

"Yes!! Big love and solidarity always. Free Palestine," a fifth quipped as another expressed: "I agree. Separation and division always lead to suffering and conflict.

"We should all call this out. What is even harder is after the devastation to trust the Universe. We are all one underneath our thought, we are all identical in our core needs." (sic)

Leone's actions follow Saade who opened the contest and wore a keffiyeh on his arm, a symbol that is commonly used to demonstrate support towards Palestine amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.


Australia's act claimed they wore pro-Palestine symbol


Shortly after his performance, Eurovision’s organisers - the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) - said they "regretted" that Eric "chose to compromise the non-political nature of the event."

Later, Ireland's Bambie Thug revealed that they were asked to change their costume hours before the show after having ogham writing on their face which initially read "ceasefire" and "free Palestine".

They explained: "I am pro-justice and pro-peace... Unfortunately, I had to change those messages today to ‘Crown The Witch’ only, in order from the EBU.”

The protests against the contest come after many claimed that Israel should not have been able to compete, being further infuriated after the country made it through to the final tomorrow.

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