Israel and the Eurovision

 

Sir, – Zoë Lawlor’s and Betty Purcell’s letter (March 7th) calling for RTÉ to withdraw from broadcasting this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is passionate, bordering on the hyperventilating.

Perhaps I was asleep at the time, but I missed their outrage at RTÉ’s decision to broadcast the Olympics from Moscow and Beijing in recent years. Nor have I heard them speak out against Qatar hosting the World Cup in 2022. Or is it that human rights abuses by autocracies and dictatorships don’t carry the same moral outrage for them?

Cultural boycott does not work. It allows the already entrenched, Israeli siege mentality to dig in further by ramping up hatred of all Israelis, whether that is intended or not.

There are many ways of supporting the Palestinian cause without alienating the 50 per cent of Israelis who want peace with them.

Disproportionate focus on Israel’s illegal and immoral behaviour feeds a vertiginous rise in anti-Semitism, however genuine the intentions of those, like the two letter writers, may be.

It is easy to understand how one might question the motives of those who call out Israeli abuse while being noticeably absent when, inconveniently, abuses in other countries are happening on a much larger scale. – Yours, etc,

OLIVER SEARS,

Dublin 2.