The Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center has called for Iceland’s Eurovision participants to be banned from entering Israel.
An Israeli NGO that has represented representing terror victims against terrorist organizations and terror-sponsoring countries, is calling on the Interior Ministry to ban Hatari from entering Israel. Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center is calling on the group to be banned from entering Israel due to fears in the Israeli media that Hatari will use the contests stage for a protest against Israel.
The Head of the Law Center has released a letter stating:
Last summer, the band signed a petition distributed in Iceland calling for the boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest. After being selected, Hatari announced that it intended to protest against Israel on stage at the Eurovision Song Contest, despite the fact that it would violate the rules of competition.
According to the amendment to the Entry into Israel Law, a person who is not an Israeli citizen or in possession of a permanent residence permit in Israel will not be granted a visa or residency permit, if he or the organization or body he is working for has knowingly issued a public call to boycott Israel, as defined in the Law for Prevention of Damage to State of Israel through Boycott. The Icelandic band publicly and explicitly called for and supported a boycott of Israel. They must be prohibited from entering the country.
The Interior Ministry informed Ynet that the matter will be looked in to by the Ministry with the relevant other authorities. A spokesperson explained that:
In line with the amended law, the interior minister will receive a recommendation from the authorized body, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, and only then make a decision.
Hatari have been subject to large scale media scrutiny in Israel since winning the Icelandic selection process. This followed a call from Hatari to the Israeli Prime Minister to a wrestling match. Along with reports in the Israeli media that Hatari are intending to use the contests stage for a protest.
Iceland debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986 and, aside from 2 years of relegation in 1998 and 2002, has participated every year since. The contest is incredibly popular in Iceland, regularly being one of the most watched programmes of the year. Iceland has yet to win the contest but has finished in 2nd on two occasions. In 1999, Selma missed out on victory in Jerusalem by 17 points, and in 2009 Yohanna became the most successful Icelandic entrant ever finishing 2nd in the final with the song “Is it True?”. She scored 218 points, yet still finished 169 points behind the runaway winner Norway.