Israel’s Eurovision entrant performs original version of song which refers to October 7

Golan performed the song at a Tel Aviv rally in what has been named Hostages Square
Golan performed the song at a Tel Aviv rally in what has been named Hostages Square - ALEXI J ROSENFELD/GETTY
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Eden Golan, Israel’s 2024 Eurovision entrant, has performed the original version of her song that was deemed too political for the competition.

The original version, titled October Rain, was banned by the European Broadcasting Union for having political messaging.

The lyrics included a section in Hebrew believed to reference those killed by Hamas on October 7, which translated to: “There is no air left to breathe, no place, no me from day to day, they were all good kids, every one of them.”

Golan instead competed with a reworded version, titled Hurricane.

“This is the first time I am singing onstage after returning from Eurovision,” Golan said before her performance at a Tel Aviv rally in what has been named Hostages Square.

“I wanted to do it on this stage, in this square.”

“I wanted to sing October Rain tonight and it is my prayer to bring everyone home. I will not stop making our voice heard in Israel and in the world, until everyone returns home,” the 20-year-old added.

Saturday’s rally was organised by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum and designed to put pressure on Hamas to release the 128 hostages still held in the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s Eurovision entry was embroiled in controversy after viewers called for the country to be excluded over the war in Gaza.

Booing was heard during Golan’s performance during the finale. Meanwhile several thousand protestors gathered in central Malmo, where the event was held, waving Palestinian flags and shouting “Eurovision united by genocide” – a twist on the contest’s official slogan “United by music”.

Despite only scoring 52 points from jury votes, Golan finished in fifth place, out of 25, after receiving an audience score of 323 points – including 12 points from the UK’s public vote.

Golan said she was “over the moon” with the result and had ignored all of the controversy surrounding her performance, while Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said she had brought “honour” to the country.

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