About 140 artists, including musicians, writers, actors, directors, novelists, and poets from around the world have signed a letter calling for the boycott of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, which is scheduled to be held in Israel next spring. The group of artists , including six Israelis , are demanding the song contest should be boycotted if it is “hosted by Israel while it continues its grave, decades-old violations of Palestinian human rights.” Their letter has been published by the British newspaper The Guardian.
Among those who signed the letter are musicians Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Nosizwe, Bugge Wesseltoft, Lars Klevstrand, Trond Ingebretsen, Jos M rio Branco, Chullage, Dror Feiler, Christy Moore, Charlie McGettigan, Kimmo Pohjonen, Paleface, and actors Candy Bowers, Daan Hugaert, Marijke Pinoy, Chokri Ben Chikha, Tove Bornhoeft, Anne Marie Helger, Tommi Korpela, Krista Kosonen, and novelists Manuela Bosco, Gerard Mordillat, Jose Luis Peixoto, and others.
Recently English singer Waters worked with Palestinian band Trio Joubran on a new a song in dedication of the four Palestinian boys who were killed while they were playing on the Gaza beach in 2014. The song, titled “Carry the Earth”, was written by both the band and the pro-Palestine, former Pink Floyd singer, who previously recorded with the band a new song called “Supremacy” rejecting US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The six Israelis who have also signed the letter are Aviad Albert, Michal Sapir, Ohal Grietzer, Yonatan Shapira, Danielle Ravitzki, and David Opp. The letter supported an appeal from Palestinian artists to boycott Eurovision, stating, “We, the undersigned artists from Europe and beyond, support the heartfelt appeal from Palestinian artists to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 hosted by Israel.” The letter stressed, “Until Palestinians can enjoy freedom, justice and equal rights, there should be no business-as-usual with the state that is denying them their basic rights.”
“On May 14, days after Israel’s Eurovision win, the Israeli army killed 62 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, including six children, and injured hundreds, most with live ammunition. Amnesty International has condemned Israel’s shoot-to-kill-or-maim policy and Human Rights Watch described the killings as ‘unlawful and calculated.’”
The letter concluded, “Eurovision 2019 should be boycotted if it is hosted by Israel while it continues its grave, decades-old violations of Palestinian human rights. We understand that the European Broadcasting Union is demanding that Israel finds a ‘non-divisive’ location for the 2019 Eurovision. It should cancel Israel’s hosting of the contest altogether and move it to another country with a better human rights record. Injustice divides, while the pursuit of dignity and human rights unites.”