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Helen Mirren joins calls for Israel not to be banned from Eurovision

February 15, 2024 at 5:59 pm

Dame Helen Mirren gives a speech in London, England on February 19, 2023. [Photo by Stuart Wilson/BAFTA/Getty Images for BAFTA]

Helen Mirren, Boy George and Selma Blair are among 400 celebrities and entertainment figures to have signed a letter calling for including Israel in this year’s Eurovision song contest.

“We have been shocked and disappointed to see some members of the entertainment community calling for Israel to be banished from the Contest for responding to the greatest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust,” the open letter published yesterday by Creative Community For Peace, which campaigns to end boycotts of the occupation state of Israel, said.

“We believe that unifying events such as singing competitions are crucial to help bridge our cultural divides and unite people of all backgrounds through their shared love of music.”

Among the signatories are actress Selma Blair, who this week apologised for Islamophobic comments posted on social media, Debra Messing, who has been a vocal advocate of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, and Helen Mirren, who played the part of Israel’s fourth Prime Minister Golds Meir in the Hollywood film Golda.

The letter comes in response to calls for Israel to be banned from this year’s competition as a result of its genocidal war in Gaza. Last month, more than 2,000 musicians in Finland, Iceland and Sweden – this year’s host country – signed open letters calling for Israel not to be allowed to partake in the music competition.

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