From Israelis to Icelanders: Please boycott Eurovision in Israel

January 2019


From Israelis to Icelanders: Please boycott Eurovision in Israel

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Dear people of Iceland,


We are citizens of Israel, opposed to our government’s military occupation, apartheid policies, and ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian people [1]. We support the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel, until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights [2].


We urge you to join more than 27,000 of your fellow citizens who will be boycotting the Eurovision song contest if hosted by Israel [3].


In a Facebook post, Páll Óskar, Iceland’s Eurovision 1997 representative, called on Iceland to boycott Eurovision 2019 on conscientious grounds, saying “not just in Israel, but any time it’s hosted in countries that “break international law, violate human rights and commit bloody war crimes almost every day. [4]”


Óskar isn’t the only former Eurovision participant to join the boycott call. Iceland’s Eurovision finalist for 2017 Daði Freyr, 2017 Iceland National Selection Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir, eight-time Eurovision commentator Mike Murphy of Ireland, and Irish Eurovision winner of 1994 Charlie McGettigan, Australian 2018 Eurovision judge L-FRESH The LION, Finland’s 1991 finalist Kaija Kärkinen and 1991 finalist Kyösti Laihi- are just some of the names of 140 artists, from all over the globe, including Israeli artists, joining the boycott of Eurovision in Israel [5]. Other world-renowned artists on the artists’ letter include Eve Ensler, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Julie Christie, Brian Eno, and Roger Waters.


Unions, political parties, and public figures have also weighed in, calling for a boycott of Israel. In Ireland, the Musicians Union of Ireland (MUI) and Irish Equity (the trade union for actors, dancers, directors, and stage and set builders/designers) both joined the campaign [6], alongside the Sinn Féin party [7], and the Mayor of Dublin who pledges the city’s support of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights [8]. In Sweden, the Left Party Malmö demands the exclusion of Israel from Eurovision “on humanitarian grounds [9].”


Lastly, everyday people, just like you or us- from Dublin, to Paris, to Copenhagen, to London and Manchester, Cologne and Berlin, Switzerland, and all the way to Australia- are signing local and international petitions [10], and going out to the streets to voice their support of the boycott movement[11].


We too- citizens of Israel-  join the campaign to boycott Eurovision in Israel. We ask you to join us in opposing Israel’s military occupation, apartheid policies, and ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian people. Please boycott Eurovision in Israel.