EBU fines Iceland for their band's display of Palestinian scarves during Eurovision final

EBU fines Iceland for their band's display of Palestinian scarves during Eurovision final
Copyright REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Copyright REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
By Cristina Abellan Matamoros with AFP
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Iceland's Hatari are known for their opposition to Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.


Iceland has received a fine from the organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest after their band displayed scarves with Palestinian flags during the contest's final in Israel.

The contest's organisers, the European Broadcasting Union, said Saturday in a statement seen by Euronews that this gesture infringed their rules banning political gestures.

Rule 2.6 of the competition stipulates that “participating broadcasters shall ensure all necessary steps are undertaken within their respective delegations and teams in order to make sure that the ESC shall in no case be politicized and/or instrumentalized.”

Hatari is known for being against Israel's occupation in the Palestinian territories.

There was no mention of how much they had fined Iceland's public broadcaster but did reveal it was "in line with the rules of the competition". The fine was upheld following an appeal, it added.

Euronews has reached out to Iceland's public broadcaster for comment.

Guest singer Madonna also provoked controversy when two of her dancers appeared on stage with Israeli and Palestinian flags on their costumes.

"It was a mistake," Israel's Culture Minister Miri Regev told reporters at the time. "You cannot mix politics at a cultural event, with all due respect to Madonna."

Israel won the right to host the competition this year after the victory of their singer Netta Barzilai the previous year.

Next year's Eurovision Song Contest will be held in the Netherlands.

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