MADONNA shocked Eurovision organisers and millions of viewers when two of her dancers hugged wearing Israeli and Palestinian flags in an unrehearsed moment.
The Queen of Pop did not have permission from organisers for the stunt – which has divided fans of the singing contest.
Madonna used her contentious performance in Israel to make an apparent call for peace in the region.
She stormed the stage in Tel Aviv flanked by as many as 30 dancers dressed as monks to sing her 1989 hit Like A Prayer.
As the song reached its climax, her dancers pulled their hoods aside to reveal gas masks adorned with flowers.
The 60-year-old singer closed her Eurovision performance of her new song Future with a political statement.
Two of her dancers, wearing Israel and Palestine flags emblazoned on their backs, walked with their arms around each other into the distance.
They were accompanied with the lyrics: “Not everyone is coming to the future / Not everyone is learning from the past.”
The moment caused a stir on social media, with some criticising the singer for appropriating the flags.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises Eurovision, also hit out at the performance.
“In the live broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final, two of Madonna’s dancers briefly displayed the Israeli and Palestinian flags on the back of their outfits,” EBU told SunOnline.
“This element of the performance was not part of the rehearsals which had been cleared with the EBU and the Host broadcaster, KAN.
“The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and Madonna had been made aware of this.”
The display came after Madonna gave an inspirational speech saying she wanted to bring people together with music.
Asked what advice she would give the finalists, Madonna explained: "The first thing I would like to say is that you're all winners no matter what happens.
"The reason I believe that is to get here wasn't easy… first you had to have a dream, and you believed in that dream…. In my opinion that makes a winner no matter what happens."
She added: "Look at all the delegates behind us, so many countries that I have been privileged enough to visit and experience, and the one thing that brings me to these countries is music.
"So let's never underestimate the power of music to bring people together."
Madonna then went on to quote a line from her own hit single, Music, as she said: "Music makes the people come together."
She then encouraged all of the Eurovision finalists to sing along with the impromptu performance.
After Madonna's speech, Graham Norton commented on the singer's eye-patch and claimed she had a "bad case of conjunctivitis."
Fans flocked to social media to praise Madonna's show-stopping performance.
One put: "Absolutely love Madonna, she is one awesome human being!"
Another commented: "What a moment! What a woman! She's just proved everyone who said she had no place at Eurovision wrong and she hasn't even performed yet. Incredible!"
Performing ahead of the Eurovision final results being revealed, Madonna also debuted latest single, Future.
Madonna's appearance was confirmed – after weeks of uncertainty – in a statement from Eurovision.
It read: “We are pleased to finally confirm that the incomparable music icon Madonna will join us at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
“Performing live during the biggest entertainment show in the world will be a special moment for everyone – not least the fans.
“The talent on display in the competition this year is phenomenal and I’m sure the artists will further be inspired by her incredible performance and staging.
“We know that it will be an evening to remember and can’t wait to share it with everyone watching.”
The performance was Madonna's fourth in Israel – she previously took to the stage in 1993, 2009 and 2012 and has made other private visits due to her interest in Kabbalah.
Madonna's love of the Jewish mystical movement has seen her adopt the Hebrew name Esther.
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