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Hundreds of artists sign petition against Eurovision 2019

May 15, 2019 at 1:41 pm

People hold placards during a protest against the Eurovision Contest demanding the removal of Israel’s blockade on Gaza in Tel Aviv on 14 May 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign said on Tuesday that hundreds of artists have signed a petition against Eurovision 2019, which is being held in Israel, has reported.

Information Coordinator for BDS, Rita Abu Ghosh, said that hosting the song contest in Israel has created a “real crisis” for hundreds of artists because the Zionist state “is using it to whitewash its crimes against the Palestinians.”

The event is being organised in Tel Aviv on the 71st anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel in Palestine. For Palestinians, the anniversary marks the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe), the ongoing Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip and increasingly harsh measures by the Israeli security forces in the occupied West Bank.

“The pro-Israel lobby is exerting a lot of effort to make Eurovision 2019 a success,” said Abu Ghosh. “It has made many tempting offers to the artists and fans.”

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She added that the Palestinian and Arab broadcasting body has sent a message to the organisers of the contest, as well as a number of the European radio and TV unions, asking them to cancel all the advertisements and promotion material related to Eurovision.

Abu Ghosh pointed out that a group of artists and musicians performed a mock song contest at a gig in London a couple of days ago, showcasing pro-Palestine material which commemorates the Nakba.

The 65th Eurovision song contest kicked off last night in Tel Aviv with weak attendance from overseas. Ticket prices have been reduced in order to attract more fans.

Speaking to MEMO, the Head of the Boycott Campaign – Palestine, Dr Basim Naim, said that the international campaigns against Eurovision being held in Israel aim to reflect the brutality that is the reality of the Israeli occupation.

READ: Anti-Eurovision concert carries a ‘Gaza Message’