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Olly Alexander admits struggles amid Israel controversy

Olly Alexander admits struggles amid Israel controversy
Olly Alexander breaks down in tears as he discusses the Israel-Hamas conflict and the shadow it has cast over this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Olly Alexander broke down in tears as he discussed the controversy surrounding Israel's participation in this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

The country is currently involved in a conflict with the terrorist organisation Hamas following a deadly massacre on October 7 last year that left over 1,100 people - mostly young Israelis - dead.

Since then Israel has retaliated by launching sustained strikes on the Gaza Strip, the key operating territory of Hamas but also home to more than 2 million Palestinians.

Estimates suggest that around 35,000 people have been killed in Gaza - around 70% of whom are women and children - while the vast majority of the population have been displaced from their homes.

Israel has been criticised by many quarters for continuing to inflict civilian casualties, and with Israel due to compete at Eurovision this week, pressure has grown on some of the artists - including UK entrant Alexander - to boycott the event.

Talking to The Times about the whole controversy, the Years & Years frontman broke down in tears and said: "Obviously there are a lot of things I wish were different. And this is so much bigger than me and Eurovision, it really is.

"Obviously, I wish there wasn't a war or this insane humanitarian crisis. I wish for peace and I have found this experience, at times, extremely... I've just felt really sad and distressed.

"But I still believe it's a good thing when people come together for entertainment. That's why I wanted to do Eurovision."

This year Israel will be represented by 20-year-old Russian-Israeli singer Eden Golan, who takes to the stage in Malmo during the second semi-final on Thursday.

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