EBU addresses the text in Israel’s Eurovision song «October Rain» – might be too political

Norwegian news in english: Israeli media reported on Thursday that the country's Eurovision entry, "October Rain," is at risk of being disqualified because the lyrics are deemed too political.

Among other things, a widely read Israeli right-wing free newspaper, Hayom, uses the headline «The Words That Could Keep Israel Away from the Eurovision Song Contest.»

According to the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli entry «October Rain,» to be performed by Eden Golan, contains clear references to the Hamas attack on the country on October 7th.

Won’t make changes Israeli broadcaster KAN confirmed on Wednesday that it was in talks with the EBU about the song but added: «We will not change the lyrics or the song, even if it means Israel will not participate in Eurovision this year.» «October is so associated with October 7th that even though the song technically deals with something else, it won’t be possible to separate the two,» says Eurovision researcher Zoe Jay at the University of Helsinki to Sveriges Radio.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) reportedly confirmed to HuffPost UK that it is reviewing the song lyrics, but the process is confidential until a final decision is made.

«All broadcasters have until March 11th to formally submit their entries. If a song is deemed unacceptable for any reason, broadcasters are given the opportunity to submit a new song or new lyrics in accordance with the competition rules,» the statement from EBU reads.

Armenia had to change lyrics Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports Miki Zohar claims that «October Rain,» partly sung in Hebrew and partly in English, «expresses the feelings of the people and the country these days and is not political.» He reportedly urges EBU to «act professionally and neutrally, and not let politics affect art.» In 2015, Armenia had to change the lyrics of its entry «Face the Shadow,» originally titled «Don’t Deny,» which was perceived as a call to recognize the Armenian genocide. In 2021, Belarus’s entry was rejected by the EBU for containing a political message.