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Israel increases travel threat for Swedish city Malmo ahead of Eurovision song contest

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The NSC also listed ‘recommended behavior’ for Israeli tourists in Malmo.

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) on Thursday increased the threat level for traveling to Malmo, Sweden, and also encouraged Israelis to “reconsider” their upcoming trips to the Swedish city ahead of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest taking place there next week.

The travel threat for Malmo went from level 2 (potential threat) to level 3 (moderate threat), and the NSC recommended “that Israelis planning to visit the city re-assess the necessity of traveling at this time.”

The travel alert level was not raised for the rest of Sweden, only Malmo, and “is limited to the period of the Eurovision events and subject to a situation assessment.”

The Eurovision Song Contest is set to take place in Malmo from May 7-11.

For several months now, anti-Israel activists and supporters of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement have protested Israel’s participation in the international singing competition because of the Jewish state’s ongoing war against Hamas terrorists controlling the Gaza Strip — a military operation that began following the deadly Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

They attempted, unsuccessfully, to pressure Eurovision organizers to exclude Israel from the competition and urged artists to pull out of the contest in protest of Israel’s involvement.

Eden Golan, Israel’s representative in the Eurovision contest this year, also reportedly received death threats.

The NSC said in a statement on Thursday that Malmo is “known to be an anti-Israel protest hub,” given its large population of immigrants from Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran.

“These protests take place weekly and are often violent, and include calls to harm Jews and Israelis, flag burning, etc. On Oct. 7 [the day of the Hamas attack on Israel], anti-Israeli groups in Malmo publicly celebrated the massacre of Israelis,” the NSC added.

“As a backdrop, besides the protests in Malmo, the past few months have seen an increase in calls by Global Jihad and other radical Muslim factions to carry out attacks against Western objects, including targeted threats against Israelis and Jews around the world, with a preference for high media profile events,” the statement further read. “In this context, it should be mentioned that recently (on March 19) an arrest was reported of two ISIS operatives, who planned to carry out an attack on the Swedish parliament.”

The NSC said due to these developments, there are “credible concerns” about potential terrorist attacks targeting Israelis visiting Sweden for the Eurovision.

The NSC added that while Swedish authorities have increased security in Malmo, “it is important to note that unlike the Israeli delegation to the contest, individual Israelis are not protected.”

The NSC also listed “recommended behavior” for Israeli tourists in Malmo, which included staying away from anti-Israel protests and avoiding any open displays of Israeli identity.

Israeli tourists visiting Malmo are also urged to download the Home Front Command application, which will allow them to receive quick updates from the NSC in real time in the event of an incident.

Israeli singer Noa Kirel came in third place in last year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Golan will compete this year on behalf of Israel with a song renamed Hurricane.

The song’s original lyrics and title, October Rain, were disqualified from the competition because it referenced the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in Israel and was deemed too political by Eurovision organizers.

The post Israel increases travel threat for Swedish city Malmo ahead of Eurovision song contest appeared first on World Israel News.