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19th May 2019

Iceland’s Eurovision act booed for holding up Palestinian flag as points announced in Israel

James Dawson

Hatari waved the Palestinian flag on camera during the show

Iceland’s Eurovision act staged a protest against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories on Saturday night, leading to boos from the audience.

As points were being announced at the end of the show, the camera quickly moved away from the country’s act, Hatari, after they held up the Palestinian flag. The show’s hosts Bar Refaeli and Ezra Tel then moved on to the next score to be delivered.

However, the moment was picked up by users on social media.

The 2019 contest was hosted in Israel as the country won the previous year’s contest. The choice of host led to pro-Palestine groups calling for the competition to be boycotted in the run up to the show.

Iceland’s protest came after Madonna made a direct reference to the Israel / Palestine conflict during her performance at the show. Her routine during the contest’s break saw dancers wearing both the Israeli and Palestinian flags with the pair of dancers holding hands during her set.

Speaking ahead of her performance in the green room, the American singer had told the shows hosts: “Look at all the delegates behind us. So many countries that I have been privileged enough to visit an experience, the one thing that brings me to those countries is music. ‘So let’s never underestimate the power of music to bring people together.”

The contest was won by the Netherlands with 492 points, while Britain came last in the final with just 16 points.