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Eurovision storm as Israeli singer is told to rewrite her song for this year’s competition or face being disqualified


  • Israel song, titled October Rain, is reported to be about the October 7 massacre
  • It allegedly includes lyrics such as ‘there’s no air left to breathe’

Eurovision organisers have told Israel to change the lyrics of its song submission for this year’s competition or risk being disqualified, it was reported last night.

A senior member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) allegedly informed an Israeli official that the country’s entry October Rain was overly political and in breach of impartiality rules.

Reports that the ballad was being investigated spread yesterday after leaked lyrics suggested that the song focused on the October 7 massacre.

It reportedly includes lines such as ‘there’s no air left to breathe’ and ‘they were all good children, each one of them’, as well as alluding to people trapped in shelters during the attacks by Hamas.

The song, which will be sung by 20-year-old Russian-Israeli Eden Golan, also refers to ‘flowers’, said to be military code for war fatalities in Israel.

Eden Goldan (pictured) is the Israeli entry to this year's Eurovision Song Contest. A senior member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) allegedly informed an Israeli official that the country¿s entry October Rain was overly political and in breach of impartiality rules

Eden Goldan (pictured) is the Israeli entry to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. A senior member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) allegedly informed an Israeli official that the country’s entry October Rain was overly political and in breach of impartiality rules

Kalush Orchestra won Eurovision for Ukraine in 2022. Israeli-British illusionist Uri Geller said: ¿For goodness sake, Ukraine¿s winning entry [Kalush Orchestra] in 2022 was about the resilience of the Ukrainian people, so what is the problem? It¿s clearly a different rule because it is Israel¿

Kalush Orchestra won Eurovision for Ukraine in 2022. Israeli-British illusionist Uri Geller said: ‘For goodness sake, Ukraine’s winning entry [Kalush Orchestra] in 2022 was about the resilience of the Ukrainian people, so what is the problem? It’s clearly a different rule because it is Israel’

Eden Goldan performing. Israel have been told to change the lyrics of its song submission for this year¿s competition or risk being disqualified. It reportedly includes lines such as ¿there¿s no air left to breathe¿ and ¿they were all good children, each one of them¿

Eden Goldan performing. Israel have been told to change the lyrics of its song submission for this year’s competition or risk being disqualified. It reportedly includes lines such as ‘there’s no air left to breathe’ and ‘they were all good children, each one of them’

The controversial censoring, reported by Israeli news site Walla!, comes after a rap song calling for British singer Dua Lipa and US model Bella Hadid to be killed topped Israeli charts. The pro-war drill song was criticised for telling the pro-Palestine celebrities that they deserve ‘what’s coming’.

As a non-political event, Eurovision can disqualify contestants deemed to have breached its strict impartiality rules. All songs submitted are checked by the EBU before the competition to ensure they comply with the rules.

Top Israeli officials and public figures, however, have said that any attempt to penalise the ballad would be ‘scandalous’. Israeli culture minister Miki Zohar went on social media to complain about the reports of added scrutiny on Israel’s submission.

‘The song of Israel, which will be performed by Eden Golan, is a moving song, which expresses the feelings of the people and the country these days, and is not political,’ he wrote.

‘The intention of the EBU to disqualify the Israeli song for Eurovision – scandalous.’ Israeli-British illusionist Uri Geller also commented, saying: ‘For goodness sake, Ukraine’s winning entry [Kalush Orchestra] in 2022 was about the resilience of the Ukrainian people, so what is the problem? It’s clearly a different rule because it is Israel.’

An EBU spokesman said it was ‘scrutinising the lyrics’, adding: ‘All broadcasters have until March 11 to formally submit their entries. If a song is deemed unacceptable, broadcasters are given the opportunity to submit a new song or new lyrics.’ The final will be on May 11.



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