Europe’s televote shows support for Israel’s Eden Golan at Eurovision – The Jerusalem Post

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Over the past several months, one can be forgiven for thinking that Israel was the most hated nation on Earth. Campus encampments, public disorder to raise awareness of the Gaza War, and diplomatic disputes as Israel tries to recover the hostages still held by Hamas, have all contributed to a fall in public grace of the Jewish State.

The Eurovision Song Contest, which took place on Saturday night, likewise attracted such negative attention over Israel’s participation. Swedish host city Malmo geared up for the Eurovision grand final on Saturday with a mixed sense of excitement and trepidation over Israel’s participation. Some booing was heard from the crowd before, during, and after Golan’s performance in the semi-finals on Thursday and in the final on Saturday, where she eventually came in fifth, but also applause and Israeli flags waving.

In central Malmo, more than 10,000 pro-Palestinian campaigners, including climate activist Greta Thunberg, staged a protest in the hours ahead of Thursday’s semi-final, waiving Palestinian flags and shouting “boycott Israel.”

Earlier on Saturday, in a dramatic unfolding of events, Dutch artist Joost Klein was expelled from the Eurovision Song Contest following a complaint made by a female member of the production crew, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the event, said in a statement.

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Rumors spread online that Joost’s departure from the competition was related to Israeli contestant Eden Golan. 

Eden Golan, from Israel, waves a flag during the Grand Final of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest, in Malmo, Sweden, May 11, 2024. (credit: REUTERS/LEONHARD FOEGER)

The rumors seemed to have been inspired by an interaction Joost had with Golan during an interview. While Golan was being advised she did not need to answer a journalist’s question on whether her presence endangered others, Klein could be heard commenting “Why not?”

However, it seems Eden Golan was not to be stopped, and her performance rightly wowed many.

Israel receives 323 points from public

Despite the loud and proud pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel camp, one may be surprised to see just how well Israel did across the board when it came to the public televoting.

Israel received a total of 323 points from televoters. Here’s how the points were distributed:

Israel received 12 points (the maximum) from the televoters in the following countries/groups: Rest of the World, Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Several of these countries have large Jewish populations but while there is a slight tendency for countries with larger Jewish populations to give more points to Israel, the relationship is not strong enough to suggest a direct or significant influence.

Israel also received 10 points from televoters in Albania, Austria, Cyprus, Czechia, Ireland, Moldova, and Slovenia. Perhaps the surprise package here is the public vote from the Irish, who are generally regarded as not Israel’s greatest friend.

Some of the smaller nations, such as San Marino and Iceland, with negligible Jewish populations, still gave Israel relatively high scores, further illustrating that Eurovision voting is influenced by factors beyond just demographic similarities.

The breakdown of the remaining televoters is as follows:

Israel received 8 points from televoters in Denmark, Georgia, and Iceland. 

Israel received 7 points from televoters in Azerbaijan, Greece, and Latvia.

Israel received 6 points from televoters in Estonia.

Israel received 5 points from televoters in Malta, Norway, and Poland.

Israel received 3 points from televoters in Lithuania and Serbia.

Israel received 1 point from televoters in Armenia.

Finally, Israel received 0 points from televoters in Ukraine and Croatia, indicating a lack of support or visibility in these countries.

Israel’s diverse range of points from different countries, some of whom have almost no Jewish presence, signifies that despite the ongoing public noise in the pro-Palestinian arena, despite the constant attacks against the Jewish State, there is a silent majority.

And this silent majority doesn’t necessarily bring politics into a singing competition (something Eurovision has not always been able to accomplish), nor does it hold Israeli competitors responsible for their government’s actions.

We should highlight the enduring appeal of Israel’s contributions to the Eurovision stage and remember the power of music to transcend political boundaries and foster connections among people worldwide. Maybe there is hope after all.

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