ICELAND – Iceland’s Eurovision entry is reportedly considering legal action against El Al for giving them the “worst” seats for their flight home, allegedly for their anti-Israel statements, including flying Palestinian flags during the show.
The three members of Hatari, the techno-punk rock band, were each given a middle seat in the back three rows of the flight from Tel Aviv to London after the competition. In the lead-up to the competition, the band called Israel “an apartheid state”.
The band members were warned by the European Broadcasting Union that they would be disqualified if they included any political statements in their performance. They held up Palestinian flags and banners later in the show on camera as results were announced, which the EBU said “directly contradicts the contest rules.”
The band were jeered by the Eurovision audience but also condemned by BDS supporters for not boycotting the competition altogether.
Einar Steffanson, the band’s drummer, shared a post on Instagram from a resident of Haifa who claimed they heard El Al ground crew discussing giving Hatari “the worse seats” and saying: “This is what they get.”
“Thank you El Al for the ‘special treatment’”, the drummer wrote, with the hashtag, “#coolkidssitintheback”.
Felix Bergsson, Hatari’s spokesperson, told Icelandic media that the move from El Al was “disturbing” and that the band was considering filing a formal complaint with the Israeli airline or with IcelandAir, through which they bought the tickets.