A Boycott Eurovision protest is due to be held outside the RTÉ studios in Donnybrook tomorrow, Friday 8, at 12.30pm ahead of the official announcement of Ireland’s entry for the competition.
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 was a “pinkwashing of apartheid”.
Activists from the Irish Campaign to Boycott Eurovision 2019 in Apartheid Israel will create an ‘Apartheid Wall’ to go alongside their banners and placards. Alongside earlier news that more than 60 LGBT+ organisations across the world have signed a petition calling for a boycott, campaigners will also present a further 5,500 signatures calling on RTÉ not to take part in the Eurovision, bringing the total number of signatures to over 16,500.
Friday 12:30-2pm, there will be a protest at RTÉ to #BoycottEurovision. RTÉ will be due to announce Ireland’s entry to the competition. Palestinian artists have appealed for a boycott of the song contest. Israel is an apartheid state and Eurovision 2019 whitewashes apartheid.
— Fintan Warfield (@fintanwarfield) March 5, 2019
One of the spokespeople for the campaign, Zoe Lawlor, said: “Sadly, despite overwhelming support from singers, musicians and other celebrities, public figures, human rights campaigners and members of the public, RTÉ has refused to listen to the Palestinian call for Ireland not to take part in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. RTÉ say the event is ‘non political’, but every shred of evidence points to the contrary – Israel is overtly politicising and militarising the Eurovision, and is being allowed to do so by the EBU, and RTÉ.”
The statement continued: “We have learned that whoever the Irish entrant is, they will perform before 500 soldiers from the Israeli occupation forces; the show will broadcast propaganda showing illegal Israeli settlements in occupied territories; entrants will be hosted in a ‘village’ built on the ruins of a Palestinian area of Jaffa whose residents were driven out in 1948 and who still cannot return; and that councils in illegal settlements are giving free accommodation to Eurovision fans as a way of promoting these entities, which are war crimes under international law; and, of course, Palestinian Eurovision fans will not be able to travel to attend any events due to Israel’s discriminatory checkpoint regime.”
The statement concluded: “It is shameful that RTÉ is allowing itself, and by extension all TV license payers, to be used to bolster Israel’s ‘culture washing’ propaganda machine as it continues to oppress Palestinians and destroy their lives on a daily basis.
“We call on all people of conscience to give up an hour of your day to join our protest this Friday. Let our voices be heard, we do not want Ireland to be represented at an art washing exercise in Apartheid Israel.”
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