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Channel Kan: Israel’s revised ESC song approved

Updated at 07 Mar 2024 5:00 pm

The organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest have approved Israel's revised song, according to the Israeli television station Kan. The first version had been rejected because it was considered too political.

Israel is thus taking part in the competition, as the public broadcaster announced on Thursday, citing the organizers, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in Geneva. The station is one of the broadcasters participating in the ESC. The Israeli participant Eden Golan will perform the rewritten song, which is now called "Hurricane", in Sweden in May.

On Sunday evening, the singer will sing the song for the first time on Israeli television, as Kan had previously announced. The song has the same melody as its predecessor "October Rain", which was too political for the organizers. According to media reports, the song refers to the massacre by the Islamist Hamas in Israel on October 7.

According to a statement, by changing the content, the channel was also responding to a request from Israeli President Izchak Herzog, who had approached the channel's board of directors. Herzog pleaded for his country's participation in the ESC at a time when those who hated the country were trying to exclude and boycott it, according to a statement from the broadcaster.

The broadcaster Kan had initially announced that it did not want to edit the text, but then reversed its decision. Otherwise, this would have cost Israel its participation in the ESC.

Swedish artists, among others, had called for Israel to be excluded from the ESC due to the war in Gaza. The organizers rejected this.

©Keystone/SDA

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