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Gazan artists urge EU not to hold Eurovision in Israel

The decision to hold the event in Tel Aviv ‘legitimizes persecution of the Palestinian people’, the actor says.
08.05.2019 - 17:04

The Association of Palestinian Artists in the Gaza Strip has called on the European Union not to hold this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.


The NGO issued the appeal at a Wednesday press conference, attended by dozens of Palestinian artists, outside the EU’s office in Gaza City.

“Singing and music is the language of humanity; it’s the best way to express love, peace and coexistence,” Palestinian actor Nabil al-Khatib told reporters. But the decision to hold this year’s Eurovision contest in Israel, he added, “only serves to legitimize the persecution of the Palestinian people by beautifying Israel’s racist face”.

“As Palestinians, we were shocked to find out that the biggest international song competition would be held this year in Tel Aviv,” al-Khatib said. The decision, he added, “will provide support for an occupying power that oppresses another people”.

The Eurovision contest, which will be held this year in Tel Aviv from May 14 to 18, is an international music competition organized by the European Broadcasting Union since 1956. It is the world’s largest non-sporting event in terms of viewership, typically drawing hundreds of millions of viewers from across the globe.