Madonna refuses calls to back out of appearance in Israel

Pop singer says she's not backing down on plans to perform at Eurovision competition in Tel Aviv, despite pressure from BDS movement.

David Rosenberg ,


American pop music star Madonna is refusing to cancel her planned appearance in Israel for the Eurovision song competition, despite pressure from the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“I’ll never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be,” Madonna told Reuters on Tuesday.

“My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict. I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace.”

The BDS movement, which has called for the cultural, academic, and economic isolation of Israel to force the Jewish state to withdraw from Judea and Samaria, has urged performing artists invited to the Eurovision competition in Tel Aviv not to attend.

Madonna has visited Israel repeatedly in the past, however, including performances in 2009 and 2012. She is expected to arrive in Israel on Wednesday on the private plane of Israeli-Canadian philanthropist Silvan Adams.

The 60-year-old pop singer is expected to perform two songs from her new album at the Eurovision in Tel Aviv on Saturday.