Gaza artists call for boycott of Eurovision

Gazan artists call on Eurovision contestants to boycott the competition, claim Israel using the event to "perpetuate oppression".

Elad Benari ,

Tel Aviv Eurovision advertisement
Tel Aviv Eurovision advertisement
Flash 90

A group of Gazan artists on Wednesday issued a call to Eurovision song contest contestants to boycott the international music competition that will be held in Israel next week, The Associated Press reports.

The Palestinian Artists Association said in its call that Israel is using the event to "perpetuate oppression, promote injustice or whitewash a brutal apartheid regime."

The artists cited the killing of over 60 Palestinians during Gaza border protests on May 14 last year, the same day Israel won the Eurovision.

The association held a sit-in outside the EU's Gaza office and wrote a letter of protest, according to AP.

There have been numerous calls to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest this year due to the fact that is being hosted by Israel, following Netta Barzilai’s victory in last year’s contest with her song “Toy”.

Most recently, 50 public British figures signed an open letter calling for the contest to be moved to another country because of alleged Israeli “human rights violations”.

One of the signatories to the letter is former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, a notorious anti-Israel activist who has verbally attacked and pressured many artists who chose to perform in Israel over the last several years.

Waters was also among a group of more than 100 artists who published an open letter this past September calling for a boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 since it is being held in Israel.

Last week, however, a group of British celebrities signed a letter speaking out against a proposed boycott of the Eurovision song contest.

Despite the repeated calls for a boycott, dozens of countries have confirmed participation in the 2019 contest. They include Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom.