VRT unions interrupt Eurovision semi-final broadcast with call for ceasefire

Unions at Flemish public broadcaster VRT briefly interrupted the broadcast of the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest on Thursday to condemn Israel's actions in Palestine.

A banner appeared on the screen that read: "This is a trade union action. We condemn the human rights violations by the state of Israel. Additionally, Israel is destroying press freedom. We are therefore interrupting the images. #CeasefireNow #StopGenocideNow."

“We have been watching the events in the Middle East with horror for months now," a spokesperson for the ACOD-VRT union said. "We are convinced that the state of Israel is carrying out a genocide, and that is why it is scandalous that there is an Israeli entry in the Eurovision Song Contest.

“Doing nothing, just watching, is no longer an option – the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) unfortunately made the Israeli entry possible, and that is why we have decided to interrupt the broadcast. We hope to send a signal to the Israeli government to stop the fighting and killings, allow international observers and the press in and sit down for a negotiated solution.”

The broadcast resumed after the action.

Israel's participation in this year's Eurovision has led to protests in host city Malmö, calls for a boycott of the event and criticism of the "double standard" by the EBU, which excluded Russia from participating in 2022 following its invasion of Ukraine.


#FlandersNewsService | Screenshot of the message broadcast byt the VRT unions © BELGA PHOTO

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