May 20, 2024

Stalwart American tunesmith John Ondrasik, who records under the Five For Fighting moniker, has publicly called on fellow artists, specifically naming U2’s Bono, Bruce Springsteen, and Barbra Streisand, to speak out in favor of 20 year old Israeli singer Eden Golan. 

Golan, a finalist in this year’s Eurovision contest, has been forced by protestors to remain in her Malmö, Sweden hotel room except when transported by armored car to the singing competition’s studio.

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Ondrasik has been actively walking the talk on behalf of Israel since the Israel-Hamas War’s onset. In January 2024, he recorded and released the song “OK” directly addressing both the initial hideous assault by Hamas against Israeli citizens and the subsequent wave of antisemitic protests on college campuses and elsewhere across the world.

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In April 2024, Ondrasik traveled to Israel where he met with families of those still held hostage by Hamas following the October 7 2023 attack. He also met with Israeli soldiers wounded in the war and performed an open-air concert in Tel Aviv. 

Following the concert, Ondrasik took shelter from a Hamas rocket attack aimed at Tel Aviv and other targets within Israel.

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In conversation with FOX News’ Trace Gallagher, Ondrasik reiterated his earlier plea for other artists to stand up and speak out on behalf of Golan.

Just today, Eden Golan — Jewish Israeli singer; one of my fellow artists — could not leave her hotel because it was surrounded by an antisemitic mob. They drive her around in armored cars. This is 2024, right? Are we sure it’s not 1938? You think every singer, artist, band — whatever your political view — would be condemning this from the mountaintops; would be screaming that this is not acceptable.

You remember the (2001) Concert for New York. Every artist, every iconic artist, came to New York City after 911, condemned Osama Bin Laden, sang for freedom, and sang for New York City. Where are those artists? Where are those artists now? After October 7, it has been deathly silent.

I am calling on my fellow artists — Bono, Springsteen, Streisand. Join me. Stand with this incredibly heroic woman. Don’t let her do this alone. We need to stand with her, stand beside her, and tell her she’s not alone.

This year’s Eurovision contest has had more legitimate drama than the often melodramatic pop songs making up much of its musical content could hope to match. In addition to the furor surrounding Golan, Dutch contestant Joost Klein has been disqualified from the finals following allegations of improper conduct leveled against him by a female production crew member. 

Event organizers have denied an earlier incident between Klein and Golan at a press conference played a role in Klein’s removal.

Early reports suggested there had been antagonism between Klein and Israel’s contestant, as feelings run high over the Israel-Gaza war.

At a Eurovision press conference on Thursday, Golan was asked whether she had “ever thought that by being here you bring risk and danger for other participants and public?”

When the Israeli singer was told by the moderator that she did not have to answer the question, Klein chimed in: “Why not?”

Golan replied: “I think we’re all here for one reason, and one reason only, and the EBU is taking all safety precautions to make this a safe and united place for everyone, and so I think it’s safe for everyone and we wouldn’t be here [if not].”

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Separately, Norwegian media reports that their jury spokesman Allesandra Mele has pulled out, citing the “inflamed situation” in Malmo. She came fourth representing Norway last year with the song King of Queens.

To date, no other artists have publicly supported Golan. Thankfully, John Ondrasik isn’t a wuss, once again demonstrating that while others occasionally talk a great game, he does the work.