Shock in Tel Aviv after US Warning Against Visiting Israel During Eurovision

Angelo Anderson
May 15, 2019

In a statement to Reuters today, popular music icon Madonna pushed back against Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) pressure to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel, where she is scheduled to make a guest appearance.

There have been widespread calls for a boycott of the contest, given Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian territories and its killing of protesters and other civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians and their foreign supporters have called, so far fruitlessly, on countries to shun the Tel Aviv songfest as part of wider efforts to isolate Israel internationally.

But politics and controversy, as well as security concerns, have threatened to overshadow the competition, especially after a flare up of violence between militants in Gaza and the Israeli Army last week.

Stalled contract negotiations may stop Madonna from performing on stage this weekend.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 has begun in Israel with the first of two live semi-finals. "Any official news and updates will come directly from the Eurovision channels in due course", said the organisation's senior communications officer, Dave Goodman. "I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this awful cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace", the statement continued.

"We have an artist who would like to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, and who we would love to welcome on that stage".

Madonna has performed in Israel three times: in 1993, 2009, and 2012, and has made frequent private visits to the country, drawn by her attraction to Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism.

Australia's operatic pop star Kate Miller-Heidke and Iceland's fetish-punk group Hatari will also sing 12th and 13th respectively.

The contest - which gets underway with the first semi-finals tonight - will take place this year in Tel Aviv after Israel's Netta Barzilai won last year's contest.

Madonna has recently released a series of singles in the lead up to Madame X, her 14th album, out June 14. "The EBU and KAN view cybersecurity with the utmost importance and the matter is being investigated", the broadcaster's statement reads.

In response to Madonna's statement, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel has responded, calling Eurovision an "artwashing" of "Israel's brutal oppression of Palestinians".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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