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Palestinian artists: 'Israel to use Eurovision to promote injustice'

May 9, 2019 3:13 P.M. (Updated: May 12, 2019 11:19 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian artists have called on participants taking part in the Eurovision song contest “to boycott the international music competition that Israel is hosting next week.”

According to the Palestinian Artists Association, based in the besieged Gaza Strip, Israel is using the singing event to “perpetuate oppression, promote injustice or whitewash a brutal apartheid regime.”

In the statement published by the Palestinian Artists Association, on Wednesday, the artists cited the killing of more than 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests along Gaza’s borders on May 14th 2018, “the same day Israel won the Eurovision, winning the right to host the 2019 edition.”

The association also held a sit-in outside the European Union’s Gaza office and wrote a letter of protest.

Numerous artists and cultural figures already urged a boycott of this year’s Israeli-hosted Eurovision, including Roger Waters, who wrote an open letter to American singer, Madonna, asking her to cancel her planned Eurovision performance.

The calls to boycott Eurovision have also come from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, urging artists to pull out of this year’s contest because of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

BDS has frequently called on many artists to cancel events in Israel, due to Israel's military action towards the Palestinians, in response some of the world’s top artists, such as Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, and Shakira have cancelled performances.

Recently, some 171 Swedish artists and celebrities have signed an open letter urging to boycott the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest and stressed that "as long as Israel, with its apartheid policy, denies the Palestinians their basic human rights, we must renounce all participation in Israeli cultural exchanges.”

In September 2018, about 140 artists, including musicians, writers, actors, directors, novelists, and poets have signed a letter calling for the boycott of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, which is scheduled to be held in Israel.

The letter signed by the 140 artists, including six Israeli artists, demanded the song contest should be boycotted if it is "hosted by Israel while it continues its grave, decades-old violations of Palestinian human rights."

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