Eden Golan sings her original Eurovision entry in Hostages Square

“October Rain” had been disqualified for being overly political for its direct references to Hamas’ October 7 massacre in Israel.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Eden Golan sang her original Eurovision entry in Hostages Square Saturday night in front of thousands of supporters of the release of those still remaining in Hamas captivity.

“This is the first time I’m singing after returning from the Eurovision [song contest]” which ended last week, Golan told the demonstrators. “I wanted to do it on this stage in this square.”

“First of all, we are waiting for all our abductees to come home, because there’s no more time left” she continued. “I really wanted to sing ‘October Rain,’ this is my prayer to bring everyone home now. I will not stop making our voice heard, my voice, in Israel as well as all over the world until we bring everyone home.”

Goland was accompanied onstage by families of some of the hostages and some of the 86 Israelis who were freed in a deal with Hamas in late November.

Some 20 foreign hostages, mostly Thai agricultural workers, were also released at the time, in a separate agreement made between Bangkok and Iran, Hamas’ primary backers.

About 129 are still in Hamas hands. It is unknown how many are alive, especially those with medical conditions who have not received their medications for over seven months.

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Hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin recently said in a Hamas propaganda video that 70 of his fellow abductees were dead, blaming Israeli airstrikes for their demise.

“October Rain” had been disqualified for being overly political because of its direct references to Hamas’ October 7 massacre in Israel.

Alluding directly to the terrorists’ slaughter of hundreds of revelers at the Nova Dance Festival near the Gaza border, its lyrics included such lines as, “There’s no air left to breathe / No place, no me from day to day…. Who told you boys don’t cry/Hours and hours/ and flowers.”

It ended with a soft whisper “They were all good children, each and every one of them.”

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) then rejected the revised version, called “Dance Forever,” objecting to the much vaguer lines, “Hope doesn’t stop/ it just spreads its wings/ It’s like a million stars that suddenly light up in the sky.”

The third, accepted iteration, called “Hurricane,” was more of a love ballad that contained only ambiguous hints to the Nova massacre that were clear only if one saw the Israeli video that accompanied it, which was not a part of the Eurovision entry.

Golan took fifth place in the contest, thanks almost completely to the support she received from citizens’ voting from their homes throughout Europe rather than the official panels of national judges, who mostly graded it very poorly.

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Golan performed after the American, British, German and Austrian ambassadors spoke in support of the hostages’ release, putting the onus clearly on Hamas to do so “immediately.”

American Ambassador Jack Lew reminded the audience that eight of the hostages were American citizens, saying that the U.S. “will not stop working every day to bring the abductees home,” and that “Hamas must release the abductees so that this crisis can end.”

In contrast, representatives of a major portion of the hostages’ families have put the blame on the lack of a hostage deal on the Netanyahu government, saying that the only way to save their loved ones is to acquiesce to all of Hamas’ demands, including a total IDF withdrawal from Gaza.

Other families agree with the government that the best way to gain the hostages’ release is by continuing to put intense military pressure on the terrorist organization.