Bambie Thug and Olly Alexander among artists issuing statement amid calls for Eurovision boycott

Many criticised the statement signed by Ireland's Eurovision entry Bambie Thug saying it's not enough to condemn Israel and show solidarity with Palestine.

Eurovision entries Bambie Thug and Olly Alexander, who recently released a statement, in a split screen.
Image: Via X - @chipslasagne2, @erenucho

Ireland’s Eurovision entry, Bambie Thug, was among the artists who signed a statement released by British singer Olly Alexander following calls for boycott over Israel’s participation in the song contest. In the statement, the artists declared that they would not boycott Eurovision, sparking criticism and renewed calls for solidarity with Palestine.

The statement comes after over 450 queer artists, individuals and organisations penned an open letter to Olly Alexander asking him to withdraw from the competition to protest Israel’s participation. Signed as Queers for Palestine, the letter said: “We share the vision of queer joy and abundance you’ve offered through your music, and share your belief in collective liberation for all.

“In this spirit, we ask you to heed the Palestinian call to withdraw from Eurovision… There can be no party with a state committing apartheid and genocide,” it continued.

“At a time when accountability is so urgently needed, Israel’s inclusion in Eurovision would enable and cover up its war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

After receiving the letter, Alexander posted a statement signed by other Eurovision entrants, including Ireland’s Bambie Thug, saying: “We want to begin by acknowledging the privilege of taking part in the Eurovision. In light of the current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and particularly in Gaza, and in Israel, we do not feel comfortable being silent.”

It continues: “It is important to us to stand in solidarity with the oppressed and communicate our heartfelt wish for peace, an immediate and lasting ceasefire, and the safe return of all hostages. We stand united against all forms of hate, including antisemitism and islamophobia.”


“We firmly believe in the unifying power of music, we feel that it is our duty to create and uphold this space, with a strong hope that it will inspire greater compassion and empathy,” the statement further reads.

“We feel that it is our duty to create and uphold this space, with a strong hope that it will inspire greater compassion and empathy.”

After it was released, many commented on the statement saying that calling for a ceasefire in Gaza was not strong enough action to show condemnation of Israel’s actions and solidarity with Palestine. Calls for boycott and the expulsion of Israel from the competition have been coming in since last year, after the country started bombing Gaza.

Over 31,000 Palestinians have been killed and many more wounded since Israel launched its military offensive in the Gaza Strip following the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023. Many more had to flee their homes to avoid being killed in the airstrikes, with estimates showing that 90% of the population in the Strip has been displaced.

Israeli strikes on Gaza are still ongoing with no sign of a let-up despite a recent resolution passed by the UN Security Council demanding an “immediate ceasefire”. After the vote on the resolution, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it should be implemented immediately. “Failure would be unforgivable,” he wrote on social media.

President Michael D Higgins echoed these words, saying that an “immediate ceasefire and the release of all hostages must now follow”.

Moreover, Tánaiste Micheál Martin has announced that Ireland will intervene in South Africa’s case against Israel brought to the International Court of Justice. The case accuses Israel of genocide in relation to its actions in the Gaza Strip.

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