Here's The Latest Update On Israel's Involvement In This Year's Eurovision Song Contest

Noa Kirel represented Israel at Eurovision in 2023
Noa Kirel represented Israel at Eurovision in 2023 Licensed by Story Picture Agency/Shutterstock

It looks like Israel could be going ahead with their participation in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest after all.

Amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza, bosses had faced calls to drop Israel from this year’s event, which organisers refused to do, insisting that Eurovision is a “competition for broadcasters – not for governments”.

However, last month it appeared that the Israeli delegation was about to withdraw of its own accord, when it was reported that its submitted song breached Eurovision rules about political lyrics.

While Israel’s team was given the opportunity to change the lyrics in question, its national broadcaster KAN said it would rather withdraw from the contest altogether.

A second song was later submitted, though this also apparently contained lyrics that were deemed too political for the competition by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Since then, though, it seems the Israeli delegation has had a change of heart, and have made alterations to the songs that were originally submitted, which are titled October Rain and Dance Forever.

Despite disagreeing with the position of the EBU, which sought to disqualify the two songs submitted by Israel to the Contest on the grounds that they ‘carry a political character’, KAN adopted the advice of the country’s president, Yitzhak Herzog, who turned to the our Board of Directors and asked to make the necessary adjustments, which would allow Israel to compete on the Eurovision stage,” a spokesperson said (via Eurovoix).

Swedish singer Loreen pictured during her winning performance last year
Swedish singer Loreen pictured during her winning performance last year OLI SCARFF via Getty Images

They added: “KAN contacted the creators of the two selected songs, October Rain which was chosen in first place and the song Dance Forever which came in second place, and asked to readjust the lyrics, whilst preserving full artistic freedom.

“Based on the new lyrics – KAN will choose the song that will be sent to the Eurovision supervising committee, so that they will approve Israel’s participation in the Contest.”

A spokesperson for the EBU told HuffPost UK last week: “The EBU and KAN are still in the process of discussing their entry and that remains a confidential process until a final decision has been reached. All broadcasters have until 11 March to formally submit their entries for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.”

Russian-Israeli singer Eden Golan has already been selected as the Israeli representative at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Malmö, Sweden, following Loreen’s historic victory in 2023.

The 20-year-old previously represented Russia at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest back in 2015.

Meanwhile, former Years & Years singer Olly Alexander will be representing the UK, and unveiled his entry Dizzy last week.

Olly’s song is already on course to chart within the top 20 in the UK this week, according to the Official Charts Company.