Eurovision’s Eden Golan: I could not ask for a better year to sing for Israel

Israel’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, Eden Golan, has said she could not have asked “for a better year to be representing my country”.

This year, campaigners have called for a boycott on the annual singing competition over Israel’s inclusion in the contest amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

On Thursday, there will be a pro-Palestinian march when Golan competes in the second semi-final with her song Hurricane.

Speaking to ITV News’ arts editor Nina Nannar, she said: “People can say whatever they want, they have a right to speak their minds, speak their heart.

“I’m focusing on my mission and on the good and on the fact we’re united here by music.”

She added: “I’m showing our voice. It’s a huge amount of power and honour I have to be the voice of millions of people and show that we’re here and be the voice of people who are not home right now and we need to bring home.”

Asked if the security threats have affected her, she said: “Definitely it’s a different year, there’s different precautions we need to take into mind but I have the best security team on my side that is taking care of me and the entire delegation.”

Nannar said: “I just wonder on another year whether it might’ve been a heck of a lot more enjoyable for you?”

Palestinian protest during Conchita Wurst’s performance at the Eurovision Songt Contest 2024 (PA)
Palestinian protest during Conchita Wurst’s performance at the Eurovision Songt Contest 2024 (PA)

Golan responded: “I couldn’t ask for a better year to be representing my country.”

Asked if Eurovision’s motto “united by music” is true anymore, Golan added: “I truly believe in it.”

Golan changed her original song, October Rain, after it caused controversy as the lyrics were thought to reference the Hamas attacks of October 7.

Ahead of the event at Malmo Arena, fans have been warned not to bring Palestinian flags, symbols or bags and have been told that there will be “vigorous security checks”.

The terrorist threat level is on four points out of five, but the Swedish Police Authority has said that this is not related to the contest.

In March, the UK’s entry, Olly Alexander, along with Irish hopeful Bambie Thug and Danish entrant Saba – and other Eurovision artists, released a joint statement backing “an immediate and lasting ceasefire” but refusing to boycott the event.

The Grand Finale of the European singing competition is taking place this Saturday – 50 years on from Abba’s win with Waterloo.

Last year’s contest in Liverpool was won by Swedish singer Loreen, who performed the song Tattoo.

The full ITV News interview by Nannar will air on Tuesday as part of the ITV News bulletins and is available now on ITVX.