Sinn Féin will consider a motion this weekend calling on RTÉ and the Irish government to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest next year, which is set to be held in Israel, reported TheJournal.ie.
The motion, which calls for the boycott in light of “Israel’s ongoing and grievous violations of international law and international humanitarian law” and the “apartheid policies being applied to the Palestinian people”, is reportedly expected to pass.
Pearse Doherty, TD for Donegal, told TheJournal.ie: “The delegates of Sinn Féin are very clear – there is a role for the arts, music and indeed sport, in sending a very strong message internationally”.
“As it happens, Israel is hosting the Eurovision and just like the Olympic Games in Germany or the Rugby World Cup during the apartheid era, there is a time to stand on the right side of history here”.
He added: “This is an opportune moment to shine the spotlight on the slaughter of the Palestinian people. While the government are refusing to expel the Israeli ambassador, there is an opportunity for others to take a stand so I think this campaign will gain momentum”.
Doherty also said he did not want this to be solely a Sinn Féin campaign and encouraged other parties to join the call for a boycott.
“We have a history and we understand more than most what is happening in Palestine. We know in our own history where innocent protesters have been gunned down on the streets of Derry and elsewhere, so there is an affinity there. I think that this has the potential to grow”.
“I think it would be a positive development and it would be something I welcome. I call on other parties to make similar calls,” he said.