Israel’s Eurovision singer Eden Golan ordered to stay in her hotel room for her safety during pro-Palestine protest

9 May 2024, 22:01 | Updated: 10 May 2024, 08:09

Eden Golan is Israel's contestant at this year's Eurovision
Eden Golan is Israel's contestant at this year's Eurovision. Picture: Alamy/Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Israel's Eurovision singer Eden Golan was ordered to stay in her hotel room by her country's national security agency today as thousands protested her entry into the competition.

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Protesters lined the streets in Malmo to demand that Ms Golan be removed from the renowned song competition, including climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Ms Thunberg, 21, joined a 'Stop Israel' demonstration in the centre of the city on Thursday, with protesters calling for an 'end to genocide'.

The demonstration came before Ms Golan's performance at the second semi-final of the competition this evening, which was met with cheers from the crowd after boos during her rehearsal.

It has since been confirmed that Ms Golan has reached the final.

Eden Golan
Eden Golan. Picture: Getty

The 20-year-old singer took to the stage on Thursday for the ballad Hurricane, which was reworked from a previous track called October Rain, believed to reference the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel last year.

She opened with an artistic back bend, before launching into her song and received claps and cheers from the audience while dressed in a flowing cream dress.

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The song contest's host broadcaster said earlier today that it wouldn't censor the audience reaction.

Meanwhile, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu wished her luck, saying the 20-year-old representative was competing against an "ugly wave of anti-Semitism".

During today's demonstrations, smoke canisters in the colours of the Palestinian flag were set off and protesters, some of whom have dogs, young children and bicycles with them, were carrying signs displaying images of Gaza civilians who have been injured amid the Hamas-Israel conflict.

Protests against Eden Golan
Protests against Israel in Malmo during this year's Eurovision song contest. Picture: Getty

At one point, the pro-Palestinian demonstrators were told to go back by police and, following shouts of "free Palestine", returned to the main gathering.

There was also a banner done in the style of Eurovision with the words "genocide" on it, an accusation vigorously denied by Israel amid the war with Hamas.

During Eden Golan's rehearsals of her song Hurricane, which was reworked from an early track October Rain, thought to be a reference to the attack by Hamas, she was booed and there were reportedly shouts of "free Palestine" on Wednesday.

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