A group of anti-Israel protesters disrupted Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai during a live performance on French TV Saturday night.
Barzilai made a special appearance Saturday during the semi-final of Destination Eurovision, the French television show that selects the country's contestant for the international singing competition. Barzilai performed her winning song, "Toy," for the appreciative audience.
After she finished singing - but while Barzilai was still on stage - a group of protesters jumped on the stage holding signs. The protesters were removed by security within 30 seconds.
The signs, written in French, read: "No to the Eurovision 2019 in Israel." The BDS France movement took credit for the stunt on its Twitter page, using the hashtags "#DestinationApartheid" and "#BoycottEurovision2019."
France 2, the network which airs Destination Eurovision, released a statement Saturday, according to Le Parisien
, saying: "Eurovision is above all entertainment on a unique international scale and open to great artistic diversity. Music, which has no borders, represents a universal ambition of dialogue between peoples, openness and living together."
Barzilai appeared briefly uncomfortable on stage as the protesters were being removed, but recovered quickly to wish the competitors luck.
"You're giving the beautiful gift of music tonight," she told the contestants. "Just be yourself. You're amazing."
In a statement Saturday, Barzilai said that she had "an amazing evening, with incredible energy and an embrace from the French audience. Five people who came to spread darkness and not to talk about music and love, couldn't ruin an evening like this."