Published: Wed, May 22, 2019

Madonna addresses Palestinian relations at Israel’s Eurovision

Madonna addresses Palestinian relations at Israel’s Eurovision

The flag-wearing pair were the last two dancers to leave the stage at the end of the song, at which point Madonna and co-performer Quavo dramatically disappeared from the back of the stage with the message "Wake Up", which also flashed on screen.

She kicked off her set with her hugely popular 1989 hit "Like A Prayer", draped in a Gothic cloak and black eye-patch. They had vowed to use the Eurovision spotlight to expose the "face of the occupation", but their live performance of grinding metal rock passed without incident.

We've recruited Classic FM presenter and pro soprano, Catherine Bott, to help us unpack the controversial half-time set.

Though fans were initially distracted by her Jean Paul Gaultier-designed medieval look - she said it was Joan of Arc-inspired, while many viewers and actor Pilou Asbaek thought it was more "Game of Thrones" - her inclusion of a Palestinian flag caused enough controversy that the show issued an explanation to viewers.

So, it's a tick for the quality of Madonna's voice itself.

But that's just kind of who Madonna is.

"Hallelujah" became the country's unofficial national song after Milk and Honey won the contest for Israel when it hosted the event in the late 1970s, and Dana International became a national hero and global transgender icon when she won with "Diva" in 1998. Her involvement was, up until this confirmation, not yet clear.

Ouch, our Catherine doesn't mince words.

Palestinian, Israeli and global artists have united to hold a series of concerts as an alternative to the Eurovision Song Contest held in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv from May 14-18.

"The Icelanders will apparently be punished by the European Broadcasting Union, which is really not tolerant of those who violate its rules", Eldad Koblenz, CEO of the EBU's Israeli counterpart Kan, told Ynet TV.

Madonna has come in for criticism from Israel's culture minister for including a political element in her Eurovision Song Contest performance. Palestinian organizers, human rights activists, and other advocacy groups sparked a widespread worldwide effort to boycott the event, with artists like Pink Floyd's Roger Waters encouraging Madonna to reconsider the performance.

Madonna's outfit, featuring a cloak, leather armour, fishnet tights and eye-patch, added to the attention-grabbing spectacle. "They want to show everything as normal", said Ghubari.

"Kudos to her for doing all those stairs with trip-hazard flowing robes and an eye-patch, though". If you've never seen it, Eurovision is kind of pop music meets the Olympics, with singers representing two dozen countries.

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