Eurovision boycott campaign

 

Sir, – The year-long Palestinian-led campaign to boycott the Eurovision in Israel draws to a close with the final taking place tonight. Although the song contest will go ahead, the campaign has been extremely successful, garnering huge support both at home and globally.

In Ireland, more than 17,000 people signed a petition calling on RTÉ not to participate, joining 150,000 internationally, while more than 7,000 asked Sarah McTernan not to sing for apartheid.

The Irish campaign, endorsed by well-known artists, many prominent LGBTQ and human rights activists, Irish Equity and the Musicians’ Union of Ireland (MUI), has brought more awareness of, and support for, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

With 100 queer and trans liberation organisations calling on global LGBTQ+ communities to support the boycott, and LGBTQ+ activists in Ireland writing to Ms McTernan, the campaign has cut through Israel’s cynical instrumentalisation of gay rights – pinkwashing – to distract from its crimes against the Palestinian people.

This weekend sees alternative Eurovision parties being held all around the country and, reflecting the popular mood that our national broadcaster should not allow itself to be used to disseminate Israeli propaganda, claiming illegally annexed land such as the Golan Heights and Occupied East Jerusalem as part of the state, many people here will be switching off their TVs tonight.

Drastically low ticket sales and hotel bookings for this year’s competition are testament that no amount of glitz or glitter in Tel Aviv can hide Israel’s 71 years of oppressing the Palestinian people; it turns out that apartheid just isn’t that popular.

The greatest, and most important, achievement of the campaign is to show deepening solidarity with the Palestinian people, to let them know that all over the world there are people who respect their picket line and who care about them.

Just as the boycott of apartheid South Africa played a crucial role in that collective struggle for justice, so does the Palestinian BDS call, and those who heed it are on the right side of history.

We stand with the Palestinian people, we wholeheartedly endorse their right of return and we continue to boycott Israel until they have freedom, justice and equality. – Yours, etc,

ZOË LAWLOR, Cultural

Liaison & BETTY

PURCELL, Media Officer

Ireland-Palestine Solidarity

Campaign, Dublin 1.

Sir, – I agree with the proposed boycott of the Eurovision in Israel because of the suffering of the Palestinians.

My problem is that if I boycott by not watching the shows it means that I have to admit I would watch the asinine, ridiculous unoriginal show in the first place. – Yours, etc,

MARTIN CONNOLLY,

Dublin 4.