May 20th, 2013
Israeli singer Moran Mazor was under heavy security protection during her stay in Malmö, Sweden, where she competed in the Eurovision Song Contest. Israeli journalists told Swedish radio that they were followed by a group of young men who said they wanted to bomb the Israelis’ hotel rooms.
They got away by telling the men they were from Cyprus. A taxi driver who picked up six passengers from the Israeli delegation’s party reportedly called them “damn Jews” and “Jewish whores” in Arabic.
Before Saturday’s final, hundreds of Swedes and Danes took part in pro-Palestine rallies in Malmö in which local politicians called for a cultural and economic boycott of Israel under the slogan “Israel, welcome back when Palestine’s free”.
Daniel Sestrajcic, chair for the Left Party in Malmö and of the Malmö Board of Culture, claimed that Israel does not live up to the Eurovision Song Contest’s values of peace, democracy and solidarity.
“Israel is denying the Palestinians from experiencing all that so today we are telling the EBU [the European Broadcasting Union]: You should not to allow Israel to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest,” Sestrajcic said in his speech.
On Saturday, the day of the Eurovision final, Sestrajcic took part in a “kippah march” organised to protest against antisemitism and intolerance.
Around 300 people participated in the march, which was rerouted after police granted the Malmö Palestine network permission to set up a protest tent camp on a central square which previous kippah marches have passed through.
According to local media reports, priests, imams, rabbis, politicians, top businessmen and members of the public took part.
Moran Mazor, who celebrated her twenty-second birthday on the day of the semi-final, did not make it through to Saturday’s final.