1 May 2019

Protest in pictures: EUROVISION IN CONCERT: There´s no pride in apartheid! Boycott Eurovision 2019 in Israel

On april 6th a large majority of this year´s Eurovision contestants gathered in Amsterdam to present themselves, to perform and to promote Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv. At Eurovision in Concert at AFAS Live in Amsterdam, 28 of all 42 contestants including Kobi Marimi from Israel made their appearance.

Eurovision in Concert yearly attracts thousands of Eurovision fans, journalists, vloggers and bloggers from all over Europe. Specifically noticable is the particular Eurovision vibe of unity, inclusiveness and togetherness.

We were present to point out to participants, audience and press that this year that Eurovision vibe of unity, inclusiveness and togetherness will be abused by Israel to cover up apartheid, military violence and exclusion. And we therefor asked them to join the Palestinian call for a boycott of Eurovision in Tel Aviv. We did so by distributing flyers and with performances of dabke-dancers, the “honeymoon marching band” and the queer choir. We also had a replica of the apartheid wall that activists in military uniform “pinkwashed”. The audience was invited to help pinkwashing. We were able to reach many with our message. A large number of people indicated not to attend Eurovision this year because of the brutalities of Israel´s regime.

See here our press release and picture of the protest:

We call upon the contestants to reconsider and cancel their participation in Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv.  Palestinian artists as well as the Palestinian LHBTQIA+ community have urged them to pull out of Eurovision, and we join their call because Israel’s regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is shamelessly using Eurovision as part of its official Brand Israel strategy. It will cover up it´s human rights violations and war crimes with songs about (LHBTQIA+) inclusion, diversity and unity, under the slogan “Dare to Dream”. “This aspirational tag line represents and symbolises everything that the Eurovision Song Contest is about. It’s about inclusion. It’s about diversity. It’s about unity,” Jon Ola Sand said during the announcement of this year´s slogan in Tel Aviv.

But what do inclusion, diversity and unity mean in a country that keeps a military rule over millions, denying them basic rights, including the right to vote? What do those terms mean when one fifth of Israeli citizens, Palestinian Arabs, are denied equal rights by law? When Israel cages 2 million Palestinians in the largest open air prison, Gaza, depriving them of electricity, medical care, clean drinking water while killing them with tanks, snipers, drones and aircrafts? When millions of Palestinians are condemned to a life of stateless refugees, without the right to return to their homeland?

The Eurovision Song Contest plays an important role in spreading the message of LHBTQIA+ freedom and pride. What is freedom worth if it is used to cover up the oppression of others? Where is the pride in apartheid?

That´s not inclusion, diversity and unity! That´s not a dream! It´s a terrible nightmare!


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