Robyn among Swedish musicians calling for Israel's Eurovision exclusion

Robyn among Swedish musicians calling for Israel's Eurovision exclusion
More than a thousand singers from Sweden have signed an open later calling for the European Broadcasting Union to bar Israel from participating.
2 min read
01 February, 2024
Sweden is not the first European country to have musicians take an anti-Israel stance in response to the war on Gaza [GETTY]

Swedish musicians and artists are calling on Israel to be barred from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden following a cultural boycott campaign over the four-month onslaught on Gaza.

More than one thousand singers from Sweden, including star singers Robyn and Fever Ray, have signed an open letter calling for the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) - the host body of the show -  to exclude Israel from the contest. 

The open letter was published in the Swedish Aftonbladet newspaper with the Viagra Boys, DJ Seinfeld, and Malena Ernman, a previous contestant, and the opera-singer mother of environmentalist Greta Thunberg also backing the boycott call.

Robyn has produced hit singles since the 1990s and clinched major awards. Her 2005 hit single 'With Every Heartbeat' and subsequent album saw her achieve worldwide fame.

The campaign is due to Israel's ruthless military campaign on Gaza with almost 27,000 Palestinians killed, mostly women and children, and the enclave on the brink of famine.

Earlier this month, Finnish musicians and industry professionals called on their country’s public broadcaster to pressure the EBU to exclude Israel from the competition.

One of the musicians, Timo Kamarainen told Finnish outlet Helsingin Sanomat that given the "completely unsustainable" situation in Gaza, Israel's participation in the contest was inappropriate.

Talks in Iceland are also ongoing between musicians - who are keen to distance themselves from Eurovision in light of Israel’s participation - and the public broadcaster over whether to participate in the upcoming national contest Söngvakeppnin which serves as a lead-up show to the regional Eurovision.

Palestinian singer Bashar Murad could also possibly represent Iceland in the contest.

The 30-year-old East Jerusalem-born singer has been officially named as a contender in the preliminary stage of Iceland's Eurovision Song Contest selection.