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Pro-Palestine groups urge artists to boycott Eurovision in Israel

Nov. 24, 2018 1:26 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 27, 2018 11:36 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Three Manchester, UK-based pro-Palestine groups called on European artists and performers to #BoycottEurovision2019 hosted by Israel.

Manchester Palestine Action, Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Manchester Jewish Action for Palestine posted a tweet, urging songwriters and performers to boycott the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, that will be held in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The tweet read, “Just as they once boycotted the South African apartheid regime,” stressing that “Israel regularly uses culture to cover up, justify and distract from its oppressive regime of military occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian people.”

The three groups called for a protest at the BBC Headquarters in London on December 1st to demand that the British Broadcasting Corporation withdraws from the song contest, “Join the protest and take a stand against BBC artwashing apartheid.”

The tweet also read, “We demand an end to Brand Israel's whitewashing of Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people, most recently the massacre of 220 unarmed protesters and the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population.”

The groups stressed, “Just days after Israel's Eurovision win, Israeli forces massacred 62 Palestinians in Gaza, including six children, as they demonstrated for freedom and refugee rights. Since 'The Great Return March' protests began on March 30th, 2018 at least 205 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the besieged Gaza Strip. More than 18,000 others have been injured, including thousands shot with live fire.”

All three pro-Palestine groups, who are part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, called on “all concerned individuals to take a stand for the Palestinians, still occupied, still violently forced from their land and still killed mercilessly under Israel's apartheid regime.”

In September, about 140 artists, including musicians, writers, actors, directors, novelists, and poets have signed a letter calling for the boycott of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, which is scheduled to be held in Israel.
The letter signed by the 140 artists, including six Israeli artists, demanded the song contest should be boycotted if it is "hosted by Israel while it continues its grave, decades-old violations of Palestinian human rights."
The letter stressed "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."

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