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Israel reveal revised Eurovision 2024 song after weeks of controversy and changing lyrics

Israel have unveiled their new Eurovision 2024 song lyrics after initially sparking controversy.

The country received widespread criticism with their entry this year formerly titled ‘October Rain’. Sung by 20-year-old Eden Golan, the track appeared to contain references to the victims of Hamas’ October 7 attacks. The song was barred from performance due to breaking rules on political neutrality.

Though Israel originally threatened to withdraw from the competition if any changes were to be made, a call from Israeli president Isaac Herzog for “necessary adjustments” to ensure Israel’s participation has prompted their public broadcaster KAN to agree to amend the song. On March 9, Israel was confirmed to compete.

Now, the new lyrics have been revealed. Amongst the amendments is the chorus, which has been changed from “and I promise you that never again / I’m still wet from this October rain” to “Baby, promise me you’ll hold me again / I’m still broken from this hurricane”.

The original outro has also been revised from “There’s no air left to breathe” and “They were all good children, each one of them” to “No big words / Just prayers / Even if it’s hard to see / You always leave me one small light”. 

The contest has faced backlash and boycott calls for allowing the country to compete due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Over 1,000 Swedish artists called for Israel to be banned this year, such as Robyn, Fever Ray, and First Aid Kit.

Over 1,400 Finnish music industry professionals have signed a petition to ban the country from taking part of the contest as well.

Olly Alexander, who is the UK’s entry this year, signed a pro-Palestine letter that called Israel an “apartheid state” and accused it of genocide in December. He received criticism from The Conservative Party, along with Jewish charity Campaign Against Antisemitism.

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