*** ----> Eurovision in Gaza’s shadow as Israel competes in final | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Eurovision in Gaza’s shadow as Israel competes in final

AFP | New Delhi     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

The Eurovision Song Contest final gets underway in Sweden’s Malmo yesterday with thousands of protesters expected to culminate a week of tensions surrounding Israel’s participation during the Gaza war.

Israel ranks with Croatia and Switzerland as one of the bookmakers’ favourites to succeed Sweden and take home the colourful and kitschy competition watched by more than a hundred million people.

Police say up to 20,000 demonstrators are expected to rally against Israel’s participation in Malmo, whose more than 360,000 inhabitants represent 186 nationalities, many from the Middle East.

Sweden’s third-largest city is also expecting up to 100,000 fans from 90 countries, on the 50th anniversary of iconic pop group ABBA’s Eurovision win with “Waterloo”.

Meanwhile, the contest was rattled earlier Saturday by the disqualification of Dutch contestant Joost Klein, for reasons that appear to have no link to the controversy over Israel’s participation.

“Swedish police have investigated a complaint made by a female member of the production crew after an incident following his performance in Thursday night’s Semi Final,” the European Broadcasting Union said in a statement.