Thursday, 17 May 2018

Calls for Boycott of Eurovision should be heeded,

I wonder how much support  Dublin Mayor Micheal Mac Donnchacall on Tuesday  for Ireland to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019.

The 2019 contest will be held in Israel after Netta won the 2018 contest this past Saturday night.

Joana Ramiro  a reporter for Left Foot Forward. has pointed out that Ms Barzilai far from a victory for diversity , was a cynical political ploy

She writes
....But political scrutiny does not seem to apply as rigorously to Israel, where pinkwashing strategies have been widely used since at least 2005. And pinkwashing – the use of the gay rights movement to distract from or totally obscure all sorts of oppressive or corrupt policies – has been a highly successful in rebranding Israel as a idyllic holiday destination, an LGBTQ party haven. For every time Palestinian right’s campaigners cried out against human rights abuses in Israel, or the WesJoana Ramiro  a reporter for Left Foot Forward. t Bank, or Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been able to claim that, on the contrary, his country is the only true democracy in the Middle East, you just have to look at Israel’s thriving gay scene.

Speaking to the Dublin Live news website, Mac Donncha said Ireland should show solidarity with the Palestinian people by refusing to enter next year’s contest.

"I would support that, I don't think we should send a representative. I think the horrific ordeal of the Palestinian people needs to be highlighted. There needs to be solidarity just as there was with the people of South Africa with the apartheid regime," he said.
"The Irish-Palestine solidarity campaign has collected the names of 500 artists who have said they would not work in the state of Israel, that they would boycott it in the protest and the treatment of the Palestinian people," continued Mac Donncha.
The opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem  following the decision taken by President Trump saw the most violent day in Gaza for four years, with over 2,000 protesters being injured, including over 1,000 protesters injured by live ammunition.

Plaid Cymru’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP highlighted the actions of the South African and Irish Governments in response to the conflict, with South Africa recalling their ambassador to Israel and Ireland summoning the Israeli ambassador. Responding in the urgent debate, Jonathan Edwards MP asked: “Is the British Government considering either diplomatic route?”

Commenting after the debate, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP, Jonathan Edwards said:

“Our thoughts are with all of those Palestinians whose family and friends have been killed and injured.

“Palestinian people have a fundamental right to demonstrate without being shot at with live ammunition. As the occupying power, it is the Israeli Government’s duty to respect the human rights of civilians.

“With the United States abdicating all responsibility for leading peace efforts, the rest of the international community must quickly determine how to fill the void otherwise violence could quickly spiral into a more prolonged and open conflict.

“The UK Government cannot continue to simply remain silent on the systematic abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories. Bold diplomatic action is required urgently.

“The British Government has a range of options at its disposal. Along with recalling the UK Ambassador to Israel and summoning the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, this government must push for a UN resolution calling for a full, independent investigation into the conflict. This is the very least the UK Government can do.

“Most importantly, this government must suspend the sale of arms to Israel with immediate effect. It is no use issuing statements condemning violence whilst simultaneously supplying the weapons to facilitate this.
“Whilst the UK-based arms companies continue to ammunition to Israel, the British Government shamelessly profits from the mass murder of Palestinians.”
Indeed certainly if any other country that entered  Eurovision and had just killed more than 50 demonstrators in a day then the call for a boycott would be growing fast

The  New York Times  claims that

‘ Eurovision Win Is Seen as a Diplomatic Victory, Too.

The win by Netta Barzilai for her #MeToo-themed hit, “Toy,” seemed to ease, at least for now, deep-seated Israeli fears of cultural boycott and isolation. When the votes came in from around the world and Ms. Barzilai’s performance beat songs by rivals from nations like Austria, Cyprus and Sweden, many Israelis hailed it as a diplomatic victory and national vindication.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was among the first to get in on the celebrations, echoing Ms. Barzilai’s words as he exulted on his Facebook page: “Next year in Jerusalem!”

Now we must not take  “Next year in Jerusalem!” as a call for the contest to be held in that city rather than Tel Aviv  literally 

They  traditionally end the Passover Seder with the wish, “Next Year in Jerusalem!

 Would Israel buoyed up with Trump's moving the US Embassy actually also move the contest to  in Jerusalem!” it would be a dangerous and ploy  and lead to more tragedy?

A Boycott would lead to calls of anti-Semitism and maybe homophobia, but how can we give a green light to a country that is killing civilians in the manner that happened last week?

1 comment:

  1. For sure the actions of the IDF in 2014 and in the past few days towards the palestinians have been deplorable, even the british government has called for a international inquiry into the use of live ammunition on palestinian protestors this week. In fact netanyahu's period as Israel's PM has been marked with repeated slaughters of palestinians (and lets hope he faces justice in an international court one day for this).

    That said i dont think we should be calling for a boycott of next year's eurovision song contest because it's being held in israel. Putin's russia has been guilty of serious human rights abuses - and its military have been complicit in many civilian deaths in syria - so why arent these same people urging teams to boycott the forthcoming football world cup there? While the UK and US carried out an illegal invasion of iraq in 2003 which resulted in over 1 million civilian deaths in iraq - but i dont recall calls for a cultural boycott of the US and UK as a result.

    Also there is nothing phony about gay rights and womens rights in israel (as joana ramiro seems to imply). Gay people and women have equality under the law in israel - contrast this with the treatment of gay people and women under hamas in gaza or on the west bank? Alas in the palestinian territories homosexuality is outlawed and women have been executed for 'adultery'(indeed gay people and women suffer appalling treatment in most other countries in the middle east). In fact in terms of gay rights and womens rights israel stands out in the region - even israel's entry into this year's eurovision was a song which celebrated the 'me too' movement.

    It should also be noted there are israelis who deplore the netanyahu govt's treatment of the palestinians, and many of these people are to be found among israel's gay rights and feminist campaigners.