Yle responds to Eurovision boycott demands: Israel could pull out if Gaza conflict worsens – Culture

The EBU's Arab countries have boycotted Eurovision every year because of Israel.

Finns Demands by artists and music professionals to exclude Israel from the Eurovision Song Contest have received much attention. The petition also calls for Finland to withdraw from Eurovision if Israel is allowed to participate.

Yle on Sunday replied For questions raised in the discussion on their website.

Head of creative content and media at Yle Villa Villan If the conflict in Gaza continues to worsen, says Finland, it is possible to withdraw from the competition.

“I think at that point the EBU will discuss with Israel whether it is better not to participate, or whether to exclude the belligerent state from the competition altogether,” he says.

EBU This means that the European Broadcasting Union can decide to exclude a country from Eurovision. The EBU comprises 72 broadcasting organizations from 56 countries. There are also countries outside of Europe.

Israel became a member of the EBU in 1957, and was the first non-European country to participate in Eurovision in 1973.

Less noticed is that the organization also includes broadcasters from several Arab countries, which do not want to participate in the competition because of Israel's involvement. According to EBU rules, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and Tunisia can send a participant to Eurovision if they wish.

Israel's participation in Eurovision has attracted protests before, most recently in 2019, when the final was held in Tel Aviv. The Hadari band representing Iceland displayed the Palestinian flag during the live broadcast of the voting results. The EBU fined the Icelandic public broadcaster EUR 5,000 for this.

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Finns By Sunday, about 1,500 people had signed a boycott petition by artists and representatives of the music industry.

Ville Villain said In an interview with H.S, the petition's authors contacted Yle and asked him to present the petition face-to-face. A meeting has been arranged for next Tuesday.

Yle has sent information about the Finnish music industry's appeal to the EBU.

“They need to know what kind of ideas are circulating in which country,” Willen told HS.

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