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Israel could ban Icelandic ‘anti-capitalist BDSM techno band’ Hatari from Eurovision

"They must be prohibited from entering the country”

A Icelandic techno band could be banned from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, after they were accused of backing an Israeli boycott.

Hatari, a self-described “anti-capitalist techno BDSM band”, will represent Iceland at Eurovision with the track ‘Hatrid Mun Sigra’ after winning the country’s Söngvakeppnin contest at the beginning of March.

Now, their participation could be under threat after Israeli civil rights organisation Shurat HaDin argued that the band previously backed a cultural boycott – which  see them being denied entry to Israel.

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“We received information that the band representing Iceland supports a boycott of Israel,” said founder Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. “Last summer, the band signed a petition distributed in Iceland calling for the boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest.

After being chosen, Hatari announced plans to protest against Israel on stage at the Eurovision Song Contest, despite the fact that it would violate the rules of the competition.

“According to the amendment to the Entry into Israel Law, a person who is not an Israeli citizen or in possession of a permanent residence permit in Israel will not be granted a visa or residency permit, if he or the organisation or body he is working for has knowingly issued a public call to boycott Israel, as defined in the Law for Prevention of Damage to State of Israel through Boycott.

“The Icelandic band publicly and explicitly called for and supported a boycott of Israel. They must be prohibited from entering the country.”

This comes after the group previously attempted to win favour during Söngvakeppnin by challenging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a wrestling match.

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Hatari also split up in December 2018, before announcing that they would reform for Eurovision and, perhaps unsurprisingly, to try and overthrow capitalism.

“Our feelings are of overwhelming respect towards this project for which our nation has selected us. It brings us one step nearer to our plan, to destroy capitalism,” the band told Iceland Monitor  after their victory.

The legal challenge against the group is being brought by the same organisation that attempted to sue Lorde in 2018, after the singer cancelled a show in Tel Aviv, amid mounting criticism.

Israel’s proposed hosting of Eurovision has also faced intense criticism – with the likes of Wolf Alice and Peter Gabriel leading a campaign to boycott the contest in protest against alleged Palestinian human rights abuses.

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