Singers and actors for and against the boycott of the Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv
At least a hundred celebrities say the event brings a "spirit of togetherness" and can help foster peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Those in favour of the boycott say that the show will present "Israel’s prettier face to whitewash and distract attention from its war crimes against Palestinians.” Netanyahu wanted the event in Jerusalem.
London (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Scores of singers, actors, and show business people have come out against or in favour the Eurovision 2019 Song Contest scheduled for 18 May in Tel Aviv.
More than a hundred celebrities, including Stephen Fry, Sharon Osbourne, and Marina Abramovic, have signed a letter in favour of the show because of its "spirit of togetherness".
Criticising those who want to boycott the event, the letter states that "the cultural boycott movement is an affront to both Palestinians and Israelis who are working to advance peace through compromise, exchange, and mutual recognition”.
Conversely, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement says Israel is “shamelessly using Eurovision as part of its official Brand Israel strategy, which presents ‘Israel’s prettier face’ to whitewash and distract attention from its war crimes against Palestinians.”
In January 2019, British figures including Vivienne Westwood, Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, Mike Leigh, Julie Christie, Maxine Peake, Caryl Churchill and the band Wolf Alice signed a letter calling on the BBC to cancel coverage of the contest.
The signatories criticised Israel over its occupation of Palestinian territories. “Eurovision may be light entertainment, but it is not exempt from human rights considerations – and we cannot ignore Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian human rights.”
The competition will be held in Israel because an Israeli, Netta Barzilai, won last year’s edition.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had wanted the contest to be staged in Jerusalem, but the sovereignty of the city is disputed, with Palestinians claiming an Israeli-occupied area as a potential future capital city. Instead, Tel Aviv was chosen to host the contest.