Iceland's act 'to be punished' after Palestine protest live on Eurovision Song Contest

Yahoo Staff Writer

Iceland's Eurovision act could be punished after displaying Palestinian flags during the live song contest, organisers have confirmed.

Hatari, a leather-clad bondage punk trio, were critical of Israel before Saturday's grand finale, and even challenged the country's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to a "friendly match of traditional Icelandic trouser grip wrestling".

During the live final, the band members held up Palestinian flags while their public vote was being announced.

In a statement, Eurovision said the "consequences of this action" will be discussed by the contest's executive board.

It said: "In the live broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final, Hatari, the Icelandic act, briefly displayed small Palestinian banners whilst sat in the Green Room.

"The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and this directly contradicts the Contest rules. The banners were quickly removed and the consequences of this action will be discussed by the Reference Group (the Contest's executive board) after the Contest."

Hatari's gesture was rejected by Palestinian Campaign For The Academic And Cultural Boycott Of Israel (PACBI), which had demanded all acts pull out of the event.

In a statement, PACBI said: "Palestinian civil society overwhelmingly rejects fig-leaf gestures of solidarity from international artists crossing our peaceful picket line."

【ギャラリー】Madonna at Eurovision6

Eurovision is supposed to be "non-political" however the build-up has been marred by controversy and calls for a boycott by pro-Palestinian activists.

During Madonna's highly anticipated performance, her backing dancers displayed Israeli and Palestinian flags.

Organisers said it had not been part of the approved act and she had been "made aware" not to include political content in her performance.

See the full Eurovision Song Contest full finished table here

- This article first appeared on Yahoo