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Eurovision 2024: Sharon Osbourne, Gene Simmons, Boy George, Others Sign Open Letter To Support Israel’s Participation

Among the well-known individuals who have signed an open letter pleading with the organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest to permit Israel to participate in 2024 are Sharon Osbourne, Gene Simmons, and Boy George, amongst others. Israel debuted in the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest, becoming the first non-European nation to be granted permission to compete despite not being a part of the continent. Nonetheless, considering the continuing Israel-Hamas conflict, there have been numerous requests for the nation to be prohibited from competing in this year’s edition.

Eurovision 2024: Sharon Osbourne, Gene Simmons, Boy George, Others Sign Open Letter To Support Israel'S Participation, Yours Truly, News, April 17, 2024
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An open letter urging Israel to withdraw from competing at the final in Malmö, Sweden, on May 11 was sent to the European Broadcast last month. It was signed by more than 1,000 Swedish artists, including Robyn, Fever Ray, and First Aid Kit. The effort to bar Israel from the tournament has drawn criticism, and well-known figures, including Sharon Osbourne and Gene Simmons of KISS, have signed an open letter opposing the ban.

Published by the nonprofit organization’s Creative Community for Peace, the letter reads, in part:

“We have been shocked and disappointed to see some members of the entertainment community calling for Israel to be banished from the Contest for responding to the greatest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Under the cover of thousands of rockets fired indiscriminately into civilian populations, Hamas murdered and kidnapped innocent men, women, and children.”

A group of well-known celebrities, including Boy George, Helen Mirren, Debra Messing, Scooter Braun, Diane Warren, and Selma Blair, have signed an open letter supporting Israel. Sharon Osbourne recently joined the list of signatories after publicly criticizing rapper Kanye West for using a Black Sabbath sample without permission in his new album with Ty Dolla $ign. Osbourne referred to West as a “disrespectful anti-Semite” and accused him of promoting hate.

Additionally, Selma Blair recently issued an apology to her fans after sharing an Islamophobic comment on a social media post made by Abraham Hamra, an immigration reform advocate. Hamra’s post concerned the attack on the Israeli music festival Supernova on October 7, 2023. Israel is set to participate in the 2024 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, with 20-year-old singer Eden Golan representing the country. The European Broadcasting Union, responsible for organizing the event, claims to be an “apolitical member organization” committed to upholding public service values. However, the organization banned Russia and Belarus from competing for political reasons in 2022 and the previous year.

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