Netanyahu to Singer Golan: “You Brought Honor to Israel”

Ukraine puts Eden Golan on Kiev's blacklist of “enemies”

Eden Golan, alle finali del concorso musicale russo "Golos Deti" (Voce Bambini)

“You have brought great honor to the state and the people of Israel, congratulations to you!” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this during a conversation with singer Eden Golan, who won fifth place with the song “Hurricane” at the Eurovision 2024 international music contest.

“I saw,” Netanyahu emphasized, “that you received nearly the largest number of public votes, and that’s the most important thing. Not by judges, but by public opinion. You have raised Israel’s profile in Europe.” Golan’s performance was accompanied by whistles and shouts from the audience protesting the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. “For me,” the singer replied to the Prime Minister, “it was a great pride and privilege to represent our country. We’ve done something impossible, and that’s a huge privilege. I felt the love of our country and the support of everyone, and it’s something unforgettable.” Upon her return to Israel, Golan told reporters that she “was the voice of all those who need to be brought home,” referring to hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

However, Ukrainian ultras think otherwise, and on the day of the final of the Eurovision 2024 song contest (Saturday, May 11) included Golan in the list of people accused of committing crimes against Ukraine. The Peacemaker database of the Ukrainian center accused the Israeli singer of a number of violations, including “illegally crossing the Ukrainian border to visit Crimea.” In 2023, Pope Francis was blacklisted by Kiev after he spoke “too well” about Russia.

The singer was born in 2003 in Kfar Saba, Israel, but moved to Russia with her parents when she was six years old. In 2016, Eden Golan participated in the New Wave international music festival in Crimea, and in 2018 she reached the finals of the Russian music competition Voice Kids. In 2022, after the outbreak of armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Golan left the Russian Federation and returned to Israel.