Iceland 2019: Hatari with Palestine Flag at Eurovision Song Contest 2019

Palestine flag at Eurovision 2019: Iceland's broadcaster fined

The Icelandic representative at Eurovision Song Contest 2019, Hatari, broke EBU's no-politics rule, waving the Palestine flag. It will now cost the Icelandic broadcaster RÚV a fine of 5000 Euros

Hatari represented Iceland at Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv with the song Hatrið mun sigra, after winning Söngvakeppnin 2019.

In the Grand Final, after the presentation of the bundled 186 points from televoting to Iceland, Hatari used their camera time to show their support for Palestine, holding up Palestinian flags in the Green Room.

The European Broadcasting Union, EBU, has decided to fine the Icelandic broadcaster RÚV 5000 Euros for the incident.

The incident was planned by Hatari before they traveled to Israel. They had some issues about performing in Israel, and even said, that "[We] don’t think there will be a Palestinian flag on stage".

The 5000 Euro fine, is the minimum fine imposed by the EBU on TV stations who violate the rules of Eurovision Song Contest.

Hatari's protest has been censored out on the official Eurovision 2019 DVD.

During Madonna's Interval act at this year's Grand Final, two of Madonna's dancers briefly displayed the Israeli and Palestinian flags on the back of their outfits. EBU called this an "unpleasant surprise".

A similar incident occurred at the first Semi-final of Eurovision 2016, when Iveta Mukuchyan from Armenia held up a flag of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The region between Armenia and Azerbaijan is the reason behind the conflict of these two countries, as they both claim it belongs to their country.

RÚV dissatisfied

RÚV has objected to EBU’s intention to fine the broadcaster for the conduct of Hatari: "We are dissatisfied with the handling of the case and the proposed outcome", stating that they took all possible measures to avoid that Hatari broke any of EBU's regulations, and that they never will be able to completely prevent Iceland's artists from doing or saying anything that can violate EBU's rule.

EBU's fine has no further aftermath, and the broadcaster has confirmed that they will participate at Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam, and has started the planning of next year's Söngvakeppnin.

From EBU's rules

Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event. 

All Participating Broadcasters, including the Host Broadcaster, shall ensure that all necessary steps are undertaken within in their respective Delegations and teams in order to make sure that the ESC shall in no case be politicized and/or instrumentalized. 

All Participating Broadcasters, including the Host Broadcaster, shall ensure that no organization, institution, political cause or other cause, company, brand, product or service shall be promoted, featured or mentioned directly or indirectly during the Event. 

No messages promoting any organization, institution, political cause or other, company, brand, products or services shall be allowed in the Shows and within any official ESC premises and/or event (i.e. at the venue, during the Opening Ceremony, the Eurovision village, the Press Centre, the Press Conferences, etc.). 

A breach of this rule may result in disqualification.

Iceland in Eurovision Song Contest

Iceland 2010: Hera Björk - "Je Ne Sais Quoi"

Iceland's debut in Eurovision Song Contest was back in 1986, and has been participating 32 times since.

Best result are two second-places with Yohanna in 2009 and Selma in 1999.

Iceland 2010: Hera Björk - "Je Ne Sais Quoi"

Since the introduction of Semi-finals in 2004 Iceland qualified to the Grand Final 9 out of 16 times.

Iceland is the only Northern European country that has yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest.

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