Eurovision: Iceland’s Entry Hatari Anger Event Organisers After Displaying Palestinian Flags During Live Final

Iceland’s Eurovision entry could face “consequences” after they held up Palestinian flags during Saturday night’s live final.

Leather-clad bondage punk trio, Hatari, had been critical of Israel before Saturday’s grand finale, going as far as to challenge the country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to a “friendly match of traditional Icelandic trouser grip wrestling”.

Hatari (Photo: Guy Prives via Getty Images)

During the live final, the band members could be seen holding up Palestinian flags while their public vote was being announced.

The act was met with booing from the audience and prompted Eurovision organisers to release a statement.

It said: “In the live broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final, Hatari, the Icelandic act, briefly displayed small Palestinian banners whilst sat in the Green Room.

“The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and this directly contradicts the Contest rules. The banners were quickly removed and the consequences of this action will be discussed by the Reference Group (the Contest’s executive board) after the Contest.”

Hatari continued with their protest against Israel, despite members of the Israeli broadcaster trying to confiscate their banners.

A video shared on Hatari drummer Einar Hrafn Stefánsson’s Instagram shows staff trying to confiscate the flags from the group.

In the clip, two staff members can be seen demanding the flags from the group. One man wearing a Eurovision press pass is heard saying: “Give me the flag of Palestine”, while a woman pointed out they had another one hidden.

Hatari’s gesture was rejected by Palestinian Campaign For The Academic And Cultural Boycott Of Israel (PACBI), which had demanded all acts pull out of the event.

In a statement, PACBI said: “Palestinian civil society overwhelmingly rejects fig-leaf gestures of solidarity from international artists crossing our peaceful picket line.”

Eurovision is supposed to be “non-political” however the build-up has been marred by controversy and calls for a boycott by pro-Palestinian activists.

Madonna also used her performance to make a huge statement, ending it by showing two dancers wearing Israel and Palestine flags walking with their arms around each other into the distance.

The words “Wake Up” then appeared on the screen behind her.

Organisers said it had not been part of the approved act.

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Madonna previously brushed off the controversy surrounding her performance, telling Reuters: “I’ll never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be.

“My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict.

“I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace,” she added.


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Little Mix

Currently churning out banger after banger in the run-up to the release of their third album, Little Mix would be perfect representatives for the UK. They're fun, they're energetic, they're young... and even Electro Velvet themselves couldn't mess up a chorus as monster as 'Black Magic', 'DNA' or 'Salute'.

Seann Miley Moore

If we know 'X Factor' (and after 11 years we're pretty sure we do), then all the attention that Seann Miley Moore has been getting at Bootcamp and the auditions means we can probably assume he's a shoo-in for for live shows this year. His experimental dress sense and thundering voice would undeniably go down a storm with Eurovision viewers, who crowned Conchita Wurst winner just over a year ago.

Lauren Goodger

The Goodge has been teasing the launch of her music career for as far back as remember, and frankly we're growing impatient. Eurovision would be the perfect way to give the public the chance to hear her voice, as well as an opportunity for the UK to show the rest of Europe our favourite national treasure... Lauren Goodger.

Geri Halliwell

Geri's ill-fated 2004 track 'Ride It' sounded so Eurovision we half-expected to hear Terry Wogan muttering inanely through the second chorus, so we know she has it in her to deliver for a Eurovish audience. More importantly, she's been teasing lately that she's recording new music - and Eurovision would give her the perfect platform to showcase it (and leave that 'Half Of Me' debacle far, far in the past...)


Since the surprisingly glossy Steps reunion tour, the five-piece group have gone all quiet, with Claire Richards appearing on 'Celebrity Big Brother' and Lisa Scott-Lee touring the nation in 'Celebrities On Ice'. As much fun as all that sounds, we do think it's time for Steps to reclaim their throne as the nation's favourite guilty pleasure act, and what better way for it than with Eurovision?

La Roux

Alternatively, if voters are looking for something a bit more credible, look no further than La Roux. Her last album, 'Trouble In Paradise' boasted some of the most sophisticated Europop-inspired choruses we've heard in a long while, but still managed to keep a catchy, disco-inspired feel. In other words: she'd be Eurovision gold.

Aston Merrygold

Something a bit different, perhaps, but Aston's debut single 'Get Stupid', while not exactly setting the charts on fire, did represent quite well exactly what's going on in the UK music scene in the moment.


If ever there was a tale of a phoenix rising from the ashes (and then rising again, and then again) it's our girl Tulisa. Her most recent musical offering, 'Living Without You', didn't exactly sound like it cost millions of pounds to create, but that's half the joy of Eurovision, and if that's a sound she wants to explore, she could have Eurovish in the bag. Plus, as anyone who's seen her perform in the past year will attest, she's the stuff Eurovision dreams are made of. Topless men, wafting around a load of women, that fabulous pout. Amazing.

Zayn Malik


Rylan Clark

Oh, surely yes? SURELY YES?

Michelle Visage

Michelle might seem like a bit of an odd choice, given that she's best known to most Brits as Katie Hopkins' American mate on 'Celebrity Big Brother', but there's so much more to this diva than just that. She's actually had a rollercoaster music career, appearing on 'The Bodyguard' soundtrack as well as in the 80s girl-group, Seduction. Michelle has never actually released any solo material, but given her huge UK fanbase we think the nation could easily take her to our collective bosom. Plus, those votes from international 'RuPaul's Drag Race' fans would speak for themselves.

Katie Price

But then again, we could always just go with an old favourite? Katie Price sadly never got to represent the UK at Eurovision (we blame this catsuit), eventually losing out to Javine Hylton. Katie reckons performing on 'Making Your Mind Up' is the only thing she regrets from her whole career - so surely it's time she was given her redemption?

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.