Iceland : Is the country heading to a withdrawal for 2019?
The last days due to a petition that gathered more than 22.000 signatures, the Icelandic national broadcaster, RÚV, seems to have put on the table the possibility of withdrawing from the next Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
The relevant to the petition arguments and discussions raised after Árni St. Sigurðsson’s statements and the latest developments in Gaza. The petition has already being signed by Daði Freyr, who came 2nd in Iceland’s national final in 2017.
The relevant petition addressed to the Icelandic broadcaster is accompanied by the following statement :
“Following the human rights violation perpetuated by Israel towards the Palestinian nation, it is unethical for us to participate in such a glamorous competition like Eurovision in the shadow of Israel’s violence against their neighbors.”
According to The Reykjavik Grapevine website reports, Sema Erla Serdar, the coordinator of the Solaris refugee assistance organization in the country, characterized the situation “disgusting”, while another human rights activist, Thorunn Olafsdottir, called the Icelandic musicians not to participate in next year’s national selection.
On the other hand a political science professor at the University of Iceland, Baldur Thorhallsson, commenting on the issue in his Facebook account said that Icelanders must not judge Israelis for their government’s decisions.
Further more ,the program director of RUV, Skarphedinn Gudmundsson, told the Icelandic daily Morgunbladid that next year’s participation is almost certain. While all these controversial statements keep coming up daily, according to the The Reykjavik Grapevine website the first meeting of RÚV’s officials was held last Tuesday while a new one is to take place in June.
The Nordic country, which debuted in Eurovision in 1986, was only absent at two of the annual song contests since, in 1998 and 2002, and that was due to low rankings that its entries received. Iceland this year was represented by Ari Ólafsson and his entry Our Choice. Unfortunately for the country he didn’t make it to the grand final.