Roger Waters urges artists to boycott Eurovision in Israel
Roger Waters, a former Pink Floyd frontman and one of the most vocal advocates for cultural boycott of Israel, has called on the artists participating in 2019 Eurovision in Tel Aviv to boycott the event over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Israel won the right to host the event after Netta Barzilai’s song “Toy” emerged victorious during last year’s competition. The final of the competition will be held on May 18 at Expo Tel Aviv.
In an open letter, addressed to the 41 finalists of the prestigious song competition, published Monday on Water’s Instagram account, the 75 year-old wrote that Israel is an Apartheid regime, responsible for ethnic cleansing of Palestinian communities.
Waters is a longtime critic of the Jewish state, and as an active Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activist he has frequently asked performers to refrain from coming to the Holy Land.
Last September, the former Pink Floyd singer was one of more than 100 artists from around the world calling for a boycott of the Eurovision in Israel.
In a letter published by British newspaper the Guardian, dozens of musicians, actors, filmmakers and directors said they supported Palestinian artists’ boycott of the contest since Israel “violates Palestinian human rights.”
“Until Palestinians can enjoy freedom, justice and equal rights, there should be no business-as-usual with the state that is denying them their basic rights,” the letter read.
“Eurovision 2019 should be boycotted if it is hosted by Israel while it continues its grave, decades-old violations of Palestinian human rights,” the letter continued.
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ARE YOU THE ONE? AN OPEN LETTER TO CONAN OSIRIS AND THE OTHER 41 FINALISTS FOR THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST. A few days ago, I wrote a private letter to a young talented Portuguese singer, Conan Osiris. He had just won the right to represent Portugal in the @eurovision song contest final, and was reported as saying he wasn’t sure if he would go to Tel Aviv or not. I listened to his song, and then got a translation of the lyrics it was about using his cell phone to ask questions about life and death and love. It was quite deep. I was told by friends that Conan Osiris might join the vast network of artists who are heeding the Palestinian call to boycott Eurovision in apartheid Tel Aviv. So I wrote and suggested to him that here he had an opportunity to speak up for life over death and also for human rights over human wrongs. How? By standing shoulder to shoulder, with his oppressed brothers and sisters in Palestine. He could show solidarity with the 189 un-armed protestors shot to death by Israel’s snipers in Gaza last year alone, including at least 35 children. But how could our brother Conan stand up? By refusing to join the cultural whitewash of what a recent UN report calls Israel’s war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, by refraining from providing his art to art-wash Israel’s systematic ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian communities to expand and maintain its apartheid state. Conan can refuse to perform in front of the segregated audience in Tel Aviv at the Eurovision song contest finals this coming May. In my letter I explained that Eurovision could be a tipping point, I appealed to Conan to stand up and be counted. Sadly, until now, there is no reply from Conan. There is news though, reliable sources tell me that young Conan has been personally approached and persuaded to go to the finals by an organization called Creative Community for Peace (CCfP). Ahhhh! For anyone who doesn’t know, CCfP has been exposed as an offshoot of the far-right Israeli government backed propaganda organizations “Stand With Us” and “The Israel Emergency Fund”. Read more at http://facebook.com/rogerwaters