Masked singer

Eden Golan reveals she had to wear disguise in Malmo during Eurovision

Israel’s Eurovision representative says she ‘thought it was funny, but didn’t realize how scary and dangerous it really was,’ as anti-Israel sentiment marred song contest

Eden Golan in disguise while in Malmo, Sweden, for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest, in a picture published to social media on July 11, 2024. (Instagram/Eden Golan, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Eden Golan in disguise while in Malmo, Sweden, for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest, in a picture published to social media on July 11, 2024. (Instagram/Eden Golan, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Eden Golan, Israel’s representative to the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden, revealed on social media on Thursday that she had to conceal her identity outside her hotel because of threats to her safety amid the war in Gaza.

“It’s been exactly two months since the Eurovision Song Contest, and as I was scrolling through my camera roll the other night, I came across this pic and really wanted to share it with you guys,” said Golan, posting to Instagram a picture of herself in disguise while in Malmo.

“Many people know that we were surrounded by the best security but didn’t know about those moments when I had to dress up for the little time we did spend outside the hotel,” said Golan, writing in English and Hebrew.

Golan, whose song “Hurricane” took fifth place — thanks mainly to high popularity in audience votes, as national juries largely snubbed her — said on Instagram that at the time, she “thought it was funny but didn’t realize how scary and dangerous it really was.”

“It’s sad that we have returned to a time where a Jewish Israeli woman has to hide parts of her identity to avoid being harmed,” wrote the singer. “I know there are better days ahead of us.”

May 11’s competition final was heavily overshadowed by threats and protests against Israel taking part due to the ongoing war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Golan was booed during her performances in the competition, and protests were held against her participation.

Eden Golan of Israel enters the arena during the flag parade before the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

While the live broadcast, seen annually by more than 150 million people around the world, went off smoothly, there were large protests against Israel outside the arena in Malmo, Sweden, and small mostly under-the-radar protests inside the stadium. Golan was largely confined to her room throughout the competition.

Golan and the Israeli delegation were also repeatedly subjected to hostility from other participants, some of whom accused them of breaking the rules.

Ireland’s Bambie Thug, who was the most vocally anti-Israel among participants, complained that commentators on Kan called on viewers to wish curses upon them when they performed — apparently in reference to the Irish song’s theme — and other participants accused the Israeli team of filming them without their consent.

Thug recounted crying when Golan advanced to the contest’s final round, and Greek representative Marina Satti was seen yawning animatedly and feigning falling asleep when Golan spoke at a joint press conference.

Another incident saw Golan being told she did not have to answer a question on whether her presence at the contest created danger, leading Dutch singer Joost Klein, who was later disqualified over accusations of assault, to ask “Why not?”

The design of Portuguese participant Iolanda’s nails was inspired by the Palestinian keffiyeh, a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.

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