Eurovision 2019 – It appears that Iceland entry, Hatari, have already paid a small price for their display of Palestinian scarves during this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Social media posts by an Israeli El Al member of staff appear to show that the Icelandic band members were deliberately split up and given the worst seats on their flight home by the Israeli national airline.
Hatari member Einar Stef put on his Facebook page:
“Thank you EL AL for the “special treatment” #coolkidssitintheback
Reports from press and fans leaving Tel Aviv today also shows that the warm welcome received last week appears not to apply so much when leaving the country. KAN, the Israeli broadcaster, had warned people to continue to wear their accreditation passes as it may help, but it didn’t stop some unlucky press and delegation members being profiled and searched in some depth as they tried to leave Tel Aviv.
People were interrogated for up to thirty minutes with questions such as ‘which hotel did you stay at in Azerbaijan 7 years ago?’ and why have you visited all these countries in your passport. Some were asked what their names meant, and relatives’ names e.g. the name of the grandma of an ex-wife! One was asked why he didn’t want to visit Jerusalem during his stay. One had to remember what he ate in Baku in 2013. Another, who couldn’t remember the name of a relative who had died before he was even born, had his passport taken away for further checks. Luggage was gone through, items removed and some felt it left a bit of a sour taste to be profiled as high risk travellers after what had been a good fortnight.