The Norwegian band Gåte, which won Norway’s qualifiers for the Eurovision Song Contest, announced on Monday that it had “decided to take part” in the huge production despite finding it “problematic” that Israel will, too. The musicians, like many others, object to Israel’s attacks on Gaza that have killed thousands of women and children.
Band members had said after winning last weekend’s contest that they needed time to digest their victory and decide what was best given all the controversy over Israel’s war. Guitarist Magnus Børmark told state broadcaster NRK, which produces the Eurovision qualifiers known as Melodi Grand Prix, that the band will express their view on the war.
“We have spent a lot of time drafting how we can use our voices in this crisis that the world is witness to,” he told NRK. “We will continue to speak out that what’s happening in Gaza can’t be defended at all. It must stop.”
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) that’s behind Eurovision has declared that Israel wouldn’t be banned for this year’s competition, even though Russia was banned after its invasion of Ukraine. Israel’s Eurovision candidate, who grew up in Russia, has also said she will take part.