BBC Eurovision 2023 winner slaps down calls to 'boycott' contest amid Israel controversy: 'Don't believe in that!'

BBC Eurovision 2023 winner slaps down calls to 'boycott' contest amid Israel controversy: 'Don't believe in that!'

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

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 10/05/2024

- 10:36

Updated: 10/05/2024

- 10:37

Loreen won the Eurovision Song Contest last year with her stunning performance of her song Tattoo

Former Eurovision Song Contest winner Loreen has hit back at the ongoing protests and claims by some to "boycott" the final due to Israel's involvement in the competition.

Loreen first won the contest back in 2012 when Baku, Azerbaijan, hosted the contest and sang the dramatic song Euphoria, before going on to dominate the UK charts last year with her second winning song Tattoo.

There has been controversy surrounding Israel's involvement in this year's contest, as many claimed the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) should not have allowed them to enter, due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The war against Hamas has killed more than 35,000 people in Palestine, and injured a further 77,000 in Gaza, according to figures obtained by Al Jazeera.

Eurovision's website states that peaceful protest is allowed: "The EBU is a firm advocate for freedom of speech and the right for people to express their deeply held views and opinions.

"We understand that people may wish to make their voices heard and support the right of those who wish to demonstrate peacefully."


Loreen won the contest for the second time last year with her song Tatoo


Whilst Israel's representative Eden Golan was booed during her rehearsal, protests in Malmo, Sweden took place yesterday ahead of her performance.

The singer was also told to "stay in hotel" as pro-Palestine protesters flooded Malmo, and left climate activist Greta Thunberg to remark: "These protests should be everywhere...once again young people are showing the world how to react."

Loreen recently spoke out against the protests and threats of boycotting, admitting that she "understood the frustrations" but stands firmly against boycotting the contest.

Speaking to iNews, she explained: "I do understand the frustration with situations that are happening in the world. This is a community, a hub, a source of energy, music is being created, and it creates happiness.

Eden Golan

Loreen discussed the current threat of boycott after Israel made it through to the final


"To boycott a hub of love and creativity to make a statement? Is that what we’re doing? To really silence sound and music and the only language we have in common?

"So we’re going to shut that down to make a statement? For what? I don’t believe in that. We have to find other more constructive ways of changing what is happening. Because we do have a collective responsibility to do that.”

Some fans were outraged last night after Israel received 39 per cent of the public vote, especially after many believed that the lyrics to her song reference the Hamas attacks on Israel.

Lyrics including "Dancing in the storm… I'm still broken from this hurricane" have led some to think she is referring to the attacks which happened seven months ago and killed more than 1,000 people and resulted in hundreds of hostages being taken.

Loreen and Eden Golan

Loreen spoke about the boycott threats


As she took to the stage last night, many viewers expressed their frustrations on social media and claimed they were "switching off" whilst she was performing.

Currently, Israel is priced up at 2/1 to win the contest on Saturday, with Croatia way out in front with odds of 11/10, according to BetMGM.

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