On February 6th the Israeli national selection HaKokhav HaBa came to a close, with Eden Golan being selected as the winner and eventual Eurovision participant for Malmo.

Following the selection, a submission window was opened for songwriters to compose the entry that Eden would sing in Malmo along with the option for Eden to submit an entry of her own. According to rumors reported by Israel Hayom, the entry KAN is planning to submit is titled “October Rain”.

But the entry may not be accepted by the EBU, as Ynet has claimed that the entry could be in violation of the Eurovision rules due to the potential political statements and references featured in it’s lyrics.

The Eurovision Song Contest has long been a non-political event, with it’s official rules stating “no lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political, commercial or similar nature shall be permitted during the ESC.”

KAN’s response to the issue

Broadcaster KAN was quick to respond to these concerns, organizing a council to discuss what could happen if the song was rejected. And their response was clear: “We will not change the words or the song, event at the cost of Israel not participating in Eurovision this year.

The Culture and Sports Minister for Israel defended the decision by stating that the entry is not political in nature, but rather “expresses the feelings of the people and the country these days.”

KAN also posted the following statement on their website this morning:

“It should be noted that as far as the Israel Broadcasting Corporation is concerned, there is no intention to replace the song. Meaning, if it is not approved by the European Broadcasting Union – Israel will not be able to participate in the competition that will be held in Sweden this coming May.”

The stance of the Israeli broadcaster then is clear: if the entry is rejected by the EBU for political reasons then they will not participate in the 2024 contest this coming May.

The EBU’s response to the issue

At this time the EBU has not made an official statement regarding the issue or the content of the Israeli entry, as they have not finished evaluating the song’s lyrical content.

Speaking to Huffington Post this evening, an EBU spokesperson stated that:

“The EBU is currently in the process of scrutinising the lyrics, a process which is confidential between the EBU and the broadcaster until a final decision has been taken. All broadcasters have until 11 March to formally submit their entries. If a song is deemed unacceptable for any reason, broadcasters are then given the opportunity to submit a new song or new lyrics, as per the rules of the Contest.”

As it stands, the Israeli entry for Malmo has not been formally rejected and they remain in the contest. Should the entry be rejected by the EBU and KAN refuses to make edits to the entry, it is likely that both KAN and the EBU will make separate press releases to announce the country’s withdraw from the 2024 contest.

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