Israel says Eurovision accepts new entry after lyrics edit

Israel says Eurovision accepts new entry after lyrics edit
Israel has said The European Broadcasting Union has accepted its new entry, "Hurricane", after editing lyrics, ending a political content dispute.
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Israel said on Thursday its entry "Hurricane" had been approved for the popular Eurovision Song Contest, ending a political content dispute.

The European Broadcasting Union informed Israeli public broadcaster Kan that the song, performed by 20-year-old Russian-Israeli singer Eden Golan, was being given the green light "after discussing the lyrics of the song... and listening to its performance", Kan said.

In late February, Israel said it would not take part in the competition if organisers rejected its entries, "October Rain" and "Dance Forever", which reportedly refers to Hamas's attack on the Nova Music festival on 7 October, where 364 people were killed.

Eurovision rules ban political content.

Then, on Sunday, Israel said it had asked lyricists to revise its proposed entry.

One line from the original lyrics of "October Rain" read: "They were all good children, every one of them."

According to Kan, the song ends with "There is no air left to breathe, There is no place for me." The lyrics were published in full on Kan's website.

"Hurricane" features the same music as "October Rain" but has different lyrics, Kan said.

In 1973, Israel became the first non-European country to enter Eurovision, and its participation in and hosting of the event have regularly run into controversy.

In 2019, Icelandic band Hatari, who previously challenged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a Nordic folk wrestling match, made pro-Palestinian statements during the vote count in Tel Aviv.

Organisers also gave US pop icon Madonna a ticking off after her dancers flouted political neutrality rules by wearing Israeli and Palestinian flags on their costumes.