More than 60 LGBT+ organisations from across the world, including Ireland, have signed a petition calling for a boycott of the upcoming Eurovision song contest
Originated by Palestinian queer groups, the 60 groups include organisations in the US, UK and across Europe. The Irish groups include Queer Action Ireland and Unison NI LGBT amongst others.
There has been controversy ever since Israel won last year’s Eurovision due to many believing that the queer community’s support of the competition no matter what, was basically a “pinkwashing of apartheid”.
The petition stated “[We] call on members of the European Broadcasting Union, our public broadcasters, to withdraw from the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest hosted by Israel, to avoid being complicit in Israel’s ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights.”
It continued, “We urge songwriters and performers to boycott the 2019 contest hosted by Israel just as they once boycotted the apartheid regime in South Africa.”
Commenting on the widespread reaction to the petition, Haneen Maikey, director of alQaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society said: “As Palestinian queers, we are heartened by the increasing numbers of LGBTQIA communities taking a stand against Israel’s pinkwashing agenda in a true show of effective solidarity.
“LGBTQIA communities are refusing to allow queer and trans liberation to be used by the Israeli regime of oppression as a progressive smoke screen to conceal its violent oppression of Palestinians. They are saying, ‘Our rights are indivisible from the rights of all oppressed communities.’
“Joining and promoting the call to boycott Eurovision 2019 in Israel and Tel Aviv Pride help expose the Israeli government’s reprehensible co-opting of queer rights as a public relations tool to hide its crimes against Palestinians. They strike a blow to its shameful pinkwashing strategy to maintain its apartheid regime and its decades-old colonization and occupation of Palestine.”
Despite calls for boycott, Ireland’s Eurovision representatives have confirmed this country will compete in the competition.
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