Israel has announced that it will change the lyrics of the song for Eurovision, at the request of the organizers

After initially threatening to withdraw from Eurovision if the song “October Rain” will not be accepted as originally composed, Israel National Radio and Television (KAN) has announced that it will modify the lyrics of this piece, which allude to the Hamas attack of October 7, 2023, reports Agerpres.

Eden Golan, representative of Israel at Eurovision 2024, Eurovision photo

The Eurovision 2024 music contest, hosted by Sweden, has not yet started and Israel's participation has already created excitement twice.

The European Radio and Television Union (EBU), the organizer of the contest, first had to resolve the petitions from several personalities in the artistic field, which demanded the exclusion of this country from the contest, as a result of the invasion of the Gaza Strip. The decision had barely been made that Israel could participate in the contest, when a new problem arose, related to the lyrics of the song she entered for Eurovision.

It is true that the piece “October Rain”, performed by the young Eden Golan, does not explicitly mention the bloody terrorist attack committed by Hamas on October 7 in southern Israel. But according to media companies and observers, his lyrics leave no room for doubt.

“Dancing in the storm/ We've got nothing to hide/ Take me home/ And leave the world behind/ And I promise this will never happen again/ I'm still wet from the October rain/ October rain” – says a stanza of this song.

In order to avoid any suspicion of politicization of the prestigious music contest, the organizers requested that the lyrics of this song be changed. After initially refusing, KAN has now issued a statement stating that it has finally rallied to the opinion expressed by Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who suggested “to make the necessary adjustments”.

“KAN contacted the lyricists of the two selected songs, “October Rain”, which was chosen first, and “Dance Forever”, which came second, and asked them to adapt the lyrics, keeping in the same time their artistic freedom”, Israeli Radio and Television reported.

After receiving the amended texts, Israel Public Radio and Television “will choose the song that will be sent to the organizers, for them to approve Israel's participation in the Eurovision contest”, KAN representatives added.

KAN will reveal on March 10 the song that will be chosen. The 20-year-old Israeli singer of Russian origin Eden Golan will represent Israel at the Eurovision contest, which will take place this year in the city of Malmo in Sweden.

In 1973, Israel became the first non-European country to be authorized to participate in Eurovision, a contest it won four times, including through the transgender singer Dana International, in 1998.

Controversies related to Israel existed at Eurovision and in 2019, when it hosted this contest. Then the Icelandic group Hatari defied Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by proposing a Nordic folk wrestling match and waved a Palestinian flag during the counting of votes in Tel Aviv. The organizers also criticized the singer Madonna, who was invited that year, considering that the dancers of the American star violated the rules of political neutrality by wearing the Israeli and Palestinian flags printed on their costumes.