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This Video Does Not Show a Protest In Sweden opposing Israel's involvement in Eurovision

Ahmed Sabry Ahmed Sabry
11th May 2024
This Video Does Not Show a Protest In Sweden opposing Israel's involvement in Eurovision
The protests predate the war on Gaza (X)

The Claim

At the Eurovision Contest, Israel's Eden Golan is escorted around Malmo by 100 police cars. The pro-Palestinian thugs attack the vehicles travelling with her. Show them by voting for her.

Emerging story

Recently, social media users have been circulating a video clip claiming to depict muslims and left-wing activists in Malmö clashing with law enforcement due to the participation of a single Israeli singer in Eurovision.

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Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the circulating video and found the claim to be misleading. 

Misbar's team found that the video  dates back to 2009 and shows a protest that was organized against the Davis Cup tennis match between Sweden and Israel at this time.

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Riots Erupted During 2009 Davis Cup Protest in Sweden

While the video was uploaded in May 2015, a report from SkĂĄnska Dagbladet, Sweden's leading local media group, detailed the events of March 7. A demonstration had been organized against the Davis Cup tennis match between Sweden and Israel. As the demonstration procession reached the vicinity of the stadium, chaos ensued. 

The police had deployed their Delta buses to block the demonstrators from accessing the area nearest to the Baltic Hall. Subsequently, a large group attacked the police, hurling paving stones and various objects while also launching fireworks at the Delta buses. Additionally, some activists physically assaulted the buses, punching and kicking them, and slashing the tires.

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Pro-Palestinian Demonstrations in Malmo Against Israel's Eurovision Participation

The claim began circulating after Thousands of demonstrators in Malmo protested Israel's involvement in the Eurovision Song Contest, gathering in Stortorget square near the town hall. They planned to march through the city, concluding with a rally at a nearby park. Additionally, a smaller pro-Israel protest took place in central Malmo.

Organizers of the Eurovision contest, aiming to maintain its apolitical nature, refused calls to exclude Israel despite the Gaza war. However, Israel was asked to change its entry's lyrics, originally titled "October Rain," which referenced a Hamas-led attack. The song was renamed "Hurricane," and the Israeli singer remained in the competition.

While some audience members booed during the singer's performance at a dress rehearsal, she secured enough viewer votes in the semifinal to advance to the final. Critics noted the contrast with past actions, such as Russia's expulsion in 2022 for invading Ukraine and Belarus removal in 2021 for suppressing dissent.

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U.N. Warns of Unprecedented Emergency in Gaza as Crossings Remain Closed

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has escalated to unprecedented levels of emergency, according to the United Nations. All crossings into Rafah remain closed, exacerbating the crisis. Georgios Petropoulos, head of the Gaza sub-office of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, emphasized the severity of the situation during a U.N. briefing.

The recent evacuation order issued by the Israeli government has displaced over 110,000 people, many of whom have been displaced multiple times. The closure of the crossing has disrupted access to fuel, supplies, and the movement of humanitarian staff, as well as civilian and medical evacuations.

Without a swift and sustainable solution, aid activities are at risk of halting within the next two days. Food distribution in the south will be depleted by tomorrow, leaving people reliant only on what has been distributed in their shelters. The extent of aid entering Gaza remains uncertain following the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing last week and the Israeli capture of the Rafah crossing on Tuesday.

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