Eurovision Disqualifies Dutch Singer While Demonstrators Continue To Protest Israel’s Participation

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Dutch musician Joost Klein has been disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest just hours before the final was set to take place in Malmö, Sweden. The European Broadcasting Union shared a statement explaining it was “investigating an incident” involving Klein.

The statement explained that officers were investigating Klein after “a complaint was made by a female member of the production crew” following his performance on Thursday night. It added that “it would not be appropriate” for Klein to participate in the final while the legal process was going on.

Also hours before the final, French singer Slimane paused his song during the third dress rehearsal to make a statement calling for peace and unity. The European Broadcasting Union does not allow political statements or lyrics; however, this performance was not broadcasted, so it’s uncertain whether or not he will be disqualified.

Meanwhile, thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators have been in the streets of Malmö protesting Israel’s participation in the contest. In support of Palestine, Norwegian jury member Alessandra Mele withdrew. On Instagram, she said:

Tonight I was supposed to give out Norway’s points during the Eurovision final. Even though I’m thankful I was given the opportunity to do so, I’ve taken the decision to withdraw. United By Music — Eurovision’s motto — is the reason I do music. Unite people, bring them together. But right now those words are just empty words. There is a genocide going on and I’m asking you all to please open up your eyes, open up your heart. Let love lead you to the truth. It’s right in front of you. Free Palestine.

Earlier this week, Irish contestant Bambie Thug was forced to remove a pro-Palestinian message from their costume. According to RTÉ News, an Israeli public service broadcaster also warned viewers with children that Thug’s performance of their song, “Doomsday Blue,” would be “the most scary” of the evening. Thug responded saying that the commentary breached the rules of the Eurovision.