Star of Mrs Brown’s Boys and gay public figure Rory Cowan has defended Sarah McTernan amid a flurry of criticisms accusing her of supporting apartheid Israel in her decision to participate in this year’s Eurovision.
Co. Clare native Sarah was chosen out of 430 hopefuls for her “distinctive voice” and is now preparing to perform the song ’22’ on behalf of Ireland at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
There have been calls to boycott this year’s Eurovision however, with protestors arguing that supporting the event in Tel Aviv is supporting Israel’s controversial role in the conflict with Palestine, viewing its participation in the contest as a “culture washing propaganda machine”.
Irish citizens taking part in the boycott have stood in opposition to Sarah’s choice to compete, with many taking to Twitter to call her out:
All welcome except Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank. Don’t forget the Army you’ll be singing in front off have killed hundreds of children by single shot sniper fire. #BoycottEurovision2019 Please do not give this apartheid regime any cover for their human right abuses.
— Cllr. Paul Donnelly (@PaulDonnellySF) March 8, 2019
Cowan has taken to Sarah’s side and is calling for an end to the abuse, accusing protestors of “bullying” her for choosing to pursue her creative passion and represent her country on a global platform, saying: “It’s shocking the way people are trying to intimidate this girl, when all she is doing is representing her country.”
Despite his objections to the backlash, Cowan maintains that he is not denying the atrocities being carried out amidst the conflict; rather, he questions its dominance over pressing human rights issues in public discourse.
He even goes as far as to suggest some sort of conspiracy: “We have ministers going over to countries with shocking human rights abuses, and they will let that slide and target the only Jewish state. To me that’s deliberate and there is something behind it.”
Cowan claimed that he has no problem with travelling to Israel to support Sarah and as a gay man, highlighted what he saw as a positive relationship between the country and the queer community:
“I met gay Palestinians at a Gay Pride festival in Tel Aviv last June and they loved Israel and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread because Israel accepted them and gave them refuge.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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