A number of well-known figures have lent their voices to the joint campaign to boycott next year’s Eurovision which is set to be held in Israel.
The boycott campaign has been organised by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), PalFest Ireland and Trade Union Friends of Palestine.
The campaign launched just as news broke that the Israeli government dropped the condition that the Eurovision must take place in Jerusalem.
The BDS Movement in Palestine noted, this move “marks a striking failure in Israel’s PR efforts to assert its illegal claim over Jerusalem in the face of growing boycott calls.”
Amongst those who have already signed the petition to support the boycott which says Israel is “artwashing Israeli apartheid”.
Celebrities showing their allegiance to the campaign include former Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan, former Eurovision commentator Mike Murphy and music legends Christy Moore and Mary Black.
In addition, campaign endorsement comes from Irish Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mairead Corrigan-Maguire; co-founder and former Chairperson of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement Gearoid ‘Garry’ Kilgallen; Ailbhe Smyth, Senator David Norris; Kieran Rose, marriage equality campaigner and first Mr Gay World Max Krzyzanowski, Cllr. Cian O’Callaghan and Senator Fintan Warfield, who were Ireland’s first and second openly gay mayors, and Senator Ivana Bacik, a leading LGBTQ+ ally.
Speaking at the launch. renowned Irish artist and Riverdance set designer, Robert Ballagh said: “When Nelson Mandela visited Dublin soon after his release from prison in Robben Island, I asked him what role the international boycott of South Africa played in the ending of apartheid there.
“Mandela told me that ‘the boycott was one of the most important weapons in the struggle against apartheid.’ As it was then, so it remains today. This is why I fully support this call for an Irish boycott of the Eurovision 2019 in Israel. We must show the same solidarity to Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid as we did to black people under South African apartheid.”
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