Israel emerges among top favourites to win Eurovision
STOCKHOLM: (Reuters) Israel’s Eden Golan has become one of the favourites among bookmakers to win this year’s Eurovision Song Contest after she made it through the semi-finals despite boos during her performance and protests outside the venue in Sweden.

Israel climbed to second favourite from ninth after the semi-final, according to Eurovision World, a website that compiles betting odds from 15 of Europe’s biggest bookmarkers. It said Israel is seen as having a 22% chance of winning, behind only Croatia’s Baby Lasagna who was seen having a 41% chance.

More than 10,000 people gathered in host city Malmo in southern Sweden on Thursday to stage non-violent protest against Israel’s participation in the contest. More protests are scheduled for Saturday ahead of the final.

Israeli solo artist Golan, 20, with the song "Hurricane" was one of eight acts to qualify on Thursday for the final, despite boos from part of the audience before, during and after her performance.

Eurovision organisers had resisted calls to exclude Israel over its military campaign in Gaza, triggered by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, arguing that the competition is a non-political event.