BDSM techno art group and Söngvakeppnin contestants Hatari threw down an interesting gauntlet today by challenging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a wrestling match on May 19, 2019 in Tel Aviv’s Magen David Square.
In a statement read on Iceland’s Rás 2 radio this morning, a spokesman for Hatari read out a statement issuing the unusual challenge to a match of Icelandic trouser grip rules wrestling. The full statement can be found here.
Hatari, who are entering “Hatrið mun sigra” (Hatred will prevail) in this year’s Söngvakeppnin contest, alongside nine other contestants to try to represent Iceland at Eurovision 2019, are known for blending their BDSM techno with avant-garde hijinks and humor, such as answering media questions with Noam Chomsky excerpts and making grand pronouncements about their role in the downfall of capitalism.
Icelandic trouser grip wrestling (known as Glima in Iceland), is a form of wrestling where contestants wearing special belts attempt to grapple their opponents, lift them and throw them to the floor. The winner is the one who makes the other contestant touch the floor with a part of their body between the elbow and the knee.
Hatari have promised that if Netanyahu wins, he can assume economic and political control of Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands), an archipelago a few miles off the South Central coast of Iceland. No word as to how the 4,135 residents and 2 million puffins who reside on the small island chain feel about being offered to state of Israel. The local diet, a few shellfish aside, will not be a problem for kosher observant settlers who may wish to switch the West Bank for the Westman Isles. Hatari demand a small liberal BDSM Mediterranean coastal enclave be established if they win.
No word on whether or not Netanyahu intends to take Hatari up on the challenge, and the bookmakers have not issued odds on whether Netanyahu, a 69-year-old former Sayeret Matkal special forces commando who fought in the Six day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, could defeat three Icelanders in bondage gear.
In a year of eyebrow raising entrants to Söngvakeppnin, particularly in a country where the calls to boycott Eurovision 2019 in Israel have been strongest, Hatari stood out, especially given that politics is very close to every performance they do. There is a lot of potential that Hatari’s winning Söngvakeppnin would give Iceland’s public broadcaster Ríkisútvarpið (RÚV) a public relations headache, and the potential for mischief-making members of the public to vote for them for that exact reason. Söngvakeppnin, as with a lot of national selections, uses a combination of jury votes and televotes to select their Eurovision entry.
The other nine entrants for Söngvakeppnin this year are Hera Björk (who represented Iceland at Eurovision 2010), Kristina Skoubo Bærendsen, Þórdís Imsland, Tara Mobee (who had a viral hit on YouTube about a slumber party at IKEA), Ívar Daníels, Daníel Óliver, Elli Grill with Skaði and Glymur, Friðrik Ómar (who represented Iceland at Eurovision 2008 as part of Eurobandið) and Heiðrún Anna Björnsdóttir. No word yet if any of the other participants have issued wrestling or other sporting challenges to Israeli public figures.
Söngvakeppnin Semi-Final 1 will air Saturday, February 9, 2019 and Semi-Final 2 will air on Saturday, February 16, 2019. The top two entries of each semi-final will proceed to the final on March 2, 2019, with the potential for the jury making a special wildcard pick existing.
Do #YOU think Hatari’s challenges are in good fun, or a potential headache for Iceland at Eurovision 2019? Comment in our forum, social media, or in the comments below.