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    ART AND STATE

    Madonna Rebuked Over Palestinian Flag Use During Eurovision Performance

    Michael Campanella/Getty

    Eurovision organizers said Sunday they were surprised by Madonna’s display of flags from Israel and Palestine during her guest performance, while the European Broadcast Union said the singer did not clear the political statement with organizers ahead of time. Madonna was previously “advised as to the non-political nature of the event,” the EBU said. During her performance, two backup dancers onstage flashed Israeli and Palestinian flags pinned on their backs. The stunt defies contest rules and would likely result in “consequences” for Eurovision contestants—including those from Iceland, who displayed a Palestinian flag during the vote tally. Madonna, who was brought in for the event by Canadian-Israeli billionaire Sylvan Adams, later defended her actions on Twitter. The singer wrote: “I am grateful for the opportunity to spread the message of peace and unity with the world.”