This year's Eurovision song contest was drowning in controversy over its host country of Israel. But, that hasn't stopped one band from epically standing in solidarity with Palestine during the contest.
In support of Palestine, Icelandic punk rock band Hatari waved scarf-sized Palestinian flags during the announcement of their vote results. The audience had mixed reactions after the band held the Palestinian flag up; some cheered, others booed.
Eurovision 2019 took place in Tel Aviv, the first time Israel hosts the event in 20 years.
Following the move, security officials approached the band and confiscated the Palestinian flags from the members. In a video-selfie taken by one of the band members - Stefan Agustsson - the security officer can be heard asking the band to hand over the banners.
On Sunday, the Israeli broadcaster of the contest said that the unauthorized move could "draw punishment from the event's organizers," as reported by Reuters.
"The Icelanders will apparently be punished by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which is really not tolerant of those who violate its rules," said Eldad Koblenz, CEO of the EBU's Israeli counterpart Kan.
Those rules allow for the EBU to disqualify contestants who go against the "non-political" requirements of the event.
"The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and this directly contradicts the contest rule," organizers of the event said, according to The Independent.
The "non-political" event also saw a performance by Madonna, who had previously come under fire for agreeing to perform at Eurovision, in which her backing dancers had Israeli and Palestinian flags across their backs. Apparently, this particular detail was not "part of the rehearsals which had been cleared," the event organizers said.
"Winner of my heart"
"They deserve all the respect and love"
But, not everyone was impressed with the gestures
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) was not impressed by Hatari's gesture.
"Palestinian civil society overwhelmingly rejects fig-leaf gestures of solidarity from international artists crossing our peaceful picket line," the group said in a statement on Twitter.
As for Madonna, many called her hypocrisy out - specifically pointing out the estimated $1.5 million-fee for her performance.
"How about Madonna donate her $1 million fee to children in Gaza who need prosthetic limbs since Israel snipers targeted their legs when they shot them across the border? Something actually helpful vs the inane two flags display," one Twitter user wrote.
The 2019 Eurovision, a competition held primarily among member countries of the European Broadcasting Union, took place from May 14 to May 18. As part of the competition, each member country submits one song to be performed on live television, after which viewers vote for their favorite song.
Israeli Netta Barzilai won the competition in 2018. The tradition of Eurovision states that the winning country automatically wins the right to host the show the following year.
The Netherlands won Eurovision's 2019 contest in Tel Aviv after Duncan Laurence performed his piano ballad "Arcade."
Eurovision 2019 was controversial in its entirety
Earlier this year, supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement said hosting Eurovision comes in line with Israel's attempts to gain positive coverage and stir attention away from its crimes against Palestinians.
"Israel is shamelessly using Eurovision as part of its official Brand Israel strategy, which presents 'Israel's prettier face' to whitewash and distract attention from its war crimes against Palestinians," the statement read.
In March, a United Nations inquiry confirmed that Israel committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by targeting unarmed children, journalists, and disabled individuals in response to the Great March of Return demonstrations in 2018. According to the report, Israeli forces killed 183 Palestinians at the time, including 35 children.