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WorldIsraeli host expecting Eurovision 'punishment' for Iceland's Palestinian flag display

20:31  19 may  2019
20:31  19 may  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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Pop icon Madonna, who performed in the Eurovision final as one of the event’ s guest stars, also came under fire after two of her dancers were seen draped in Israel and Palestinian flags .

Meanwhile, Iceland ' s Eurovision Hatari act could face punishment after displaying Palestinian flags during the live broadcast, organisers said. During the live final, the band members held up Palestinian flags while their public vote was being announced.

Israeli host expecting Eurovision 'punishment' for Iceland's Palestinian flag display© Reuters/RONEN ZVULUN Participant Hatari of Iceland performs during the Grand Final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel

The Israeli broadcaster of the Eurovision Song Contest said on Sunday that an unauthorised display of Palestinian flags by Iceland's band could draw "punishment" from the event's organisers.

During the point-tally of Saturday's final, members of the eclectic punk ensemble Hatari held up scarf-sized Palestinian flags. A vocalist, Klemens Nikulásson Hannigan, flashed a V-for-victory sign. Many in the Tel Aviv audience responded with boos.

Israeli host expecting Eurovision 'punishment' for Iceland's Palestinian flag display© Reuters/RONEN ZVULUN Participant Hatari of Iceland performs during the Grand Final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel

In earlier remarks to Eurovision fan site wiwibloggs, Hannigan had criticised Israel's settlements and what he described as its "apartheid" in occupied Palestinian territory.

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Eurovision 2019: FURY as Iceland unveil Palestinian flag in front of Israeli audience. CONTROVERSY erupted on Eurovision as the Iceland delegation held up the flag of Palestine emblazoned on a scarf during the vote.

Madonna chided for Israel - Palestinian flag display . The European Broadcasting Union has Madonna with Eurovision Song Contest host Assi Azar in a live interview during the contest in Tel Aviv on May Iceland ’ s weird Hatari, which had promised to bring an Israel critical message to the stage

The flag display, briefly caught on the live TV relay of the 41-country contest, marked the only disruption of a show that had been a focus of anti-Israel boycott calls, and drew a swift rebuke from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

"The Icelanders will apparently be punished by the European Broadcasting Union, which is really not tolerant of those who violate its rules," Eldad Koblenz, CEO of the EBU's Israeli counterpart Kan, told Ynet TV.

An EBU spokesman declined direct comment, saying the matter was under discussion.

EBU rules allow for disqualifying contestants who do not abide by requirements for a "non-political event". Asked what other penalties might be available, the spokesman said: "In the past there have been financial sanctions for rule breaches." He did not elaborate on these cases or sums.

Organisers reveal Madonna's Eurovision performance is not yet confirmed

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The organisers said Iceland ' s Eurovision act could face punishment after displaying Palestinian flags during the live broadcast. During the final, the band members held up Palestinian flags while their public vote was being announced. In a statement, Eurovision said the "consequences of this

Eurovision co- host Erez Tal told the BDSM-supporting anti-capitalist Hatari of Iceland that they were given 186 points from voters. Hatari has been outspoken and heavily critical of the Israeli government for months, and said they would use the attention of the competition to bring attention to

Hatari's song "Hate Will Prevail", during which the leather- and latex-clad performers thrashed around a grenade-shaped globe as flames shot from the stage, came 10th of the 26 finalists.

Their flag display did not impress the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel, which had urged countries to shun the Tel Aviv Eurovision. None did.

"Palestinian civil society overwhelmingly rejects fig-leaf gestures of solidarity from international artists crossing our peaceful picket line #Hatari," the campaigners said on Twitter.

Koblenz was more upbeat about a political display by Madonna, whose much-anticipated, two-song guest performance in the final featured two back-up dancers, with Israeli and Palestinian flags on their backs, walking in an embrace.

"We are very happy that she came, certainly in a reality where very few artists are prepared to come to Israel," he said, while allowing that "perhaps she's had more successful shows".

Madonna, who has previously performed in Israel and is a devotee of Jewish mysticism, said on Twitter on Sunday that she was grateful "for the opportunity to spread the message of peace and unity with the world".

Kan had no advance notice of Hatari's or Madonna's flag displays, Koblenz said: "That's the price of a live broadcast."

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