Tuesday, 21 May, 2019


Kate Miller-Heidke Soars Into Eurovision Grand Final With Aerial Extravaganza

A Jerusalem Municipality ad for the Eurovision festival at the First Station Madonna urged to boycott Eurovision contest in Israel
Hannah Rogers | 15 May, 2019, 16:24

Google adwords including "boycott" and "Eurovision" lead users to a website, boycotteurovision.net, which praises Israel as "Beautiful, Diverse, Sensational", in a wordplay standing in for "boycott, divestment and sanctions".

For more than a half-century, Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories has resulted in systematic human rights violations against people living there.

Speaking at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Monday night, Eurovision's executive supervisor, Jon Ola Sand, who has produced the show since 2010, said, "The European Broadcasting Union has never confirmed Madonna as an act".

Contestants from 41 countries walked an orange carpet in Tel Aviv's "Culture Square" on May 12 for the opening ceremony of Eurovision 2019, brushing aside security concerns and calls for a pro-Palestinian boycott.

Madonna, who has studied Kabbalah with the Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles, included Israel in her 2009 and 2012 world tours, and in 2004 took on the Hebrew name "Esther", although she has not formally converted to Judaism.

"My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict", the singer said.

He continued: "If we do not have a signed contract she can not perform on our stage".

But Eurovision said the EBU was still negotiating with the artist.

Madonna, 60, is expected to perform two songs in Tel Aviv, one from her upcoming "Madame X" album to be released in June.

Kathy McCabe is in Tel Aviv as a guest of SBS.

Her latest rendition, which has been updated since Australia's first televised decider, saw Miller-Heidke and two dancers sway metres above the stage.

The contest-which past year drew 189 million viewers-will be co-produced by the European Broadcasting Union and Israeli public broadcaster KAN.

Israel has been accused of building settlements on occupied Palestinian lands that are considered illegal under worldwide law.

Abusalama sings: "Madonna I know you're going to be annoyed, cause Eurovision's keeping you employed, but you should know by now about the BDS movement".

She says she prays for "a new path toward peace". Mercury Prize-winning band Wolf Alice backed the Eurovision boycott.

Others denounced the proposed boycott, saying that Eurovision's "spirit of togetherness" was "under attack".

Hantman also said that Madonna was already "on her way" to Israel to take part in Saturday's show.

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