Palestinians exploring participation in Eurovision song contest
By News Agencies and Haaretz Service
The Palestinians are exploring the possibility of participating in the Eurovision Song Contest next year, a Danish diplomat said Thursday.
Two companies for artistic development, the Danish SUPERFLEX and the Palestinian Sabreen, have signed an agreement to lobby among Eurovision member states for the idea, and to help the Palestine Broadcasting Corp. with technical preparations, said Rolf Holmboe, a Danish diplomat in the West Bank.
The contest is held once a year, with European nations each sending a performer chosen in a national competition. This year's contest will be held in Helsinki, Finland. Israel has participated for years, and the contest is also popular in the Palestinian territories.
Holmboe said Palestinian participation could help create positive symbols of Palestinian unity and reinforce the idea of peacemaking with Israel. The Danish Representative Office in the West Bank is contributing about $140,000 to the project, he said.
In the first stage, SUPERFLEX and Sabreen would sound out Eurovision member states about Palestinian participation, he said. In the second phase, the two companies would help organize a local Palestinian song contest, during which a participant for the 2008 Eurovision contest could be chosen, he said. The two companies would also help Palestine TV with technical issues involved.
Officials at Sabreen and SUPERFLEX were not available for comment.
Bassem Abu Sumayah, a senior Palestine TV official, welcomed the idea. "The idea is benefiting the Palestinians, putting them on the map, politically and culturally," he said.
Iranian TV condemns Israeli Eurovision Song Contest entry
Tehran - State-run Iranian television Thursday condemned as
an "insult" to Iran Israel's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, a
number entitled "Push the Button".
The television said the song, with alleged references to nuclear warfare,
was clearly a song directed against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and
therefore an insult against Iran.