In response to the Palestinian call for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
protestors brought images of Israel’s brutal military occupation to the song contest venue built on the land of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village of al-Shaykh Muwannis. The activists reminded the incoming crowd that “Taking part in Eurovision means you join a racist mission” and that there is “no pride in occupation.”
“Israel tries to pinkwash apartheid using the LGBT community. Pink washing cannot hide Israel’s ongoing crimes and human rights abuses.”, said Shahaf Weisbein an Israeli feminist and Anti Eurovision activist.
The demonstrators held signs and called for an end to Israeli Apartheid, the lifting of the ongoing siege of the Gaza strip and the return of the Palestinian refugees.
Palestinians from Gaza who are prevented from accessing their homeland sent a message through the demonstrators to the Eurovision participants: “Nearby, just 60km south of where you have been signing is also my home, Gaza, which has been under a medieval blockade for 12 years. It has been compared to a concentration camp and an open-air prison, but I would say it is much worse. We struggle to live with no access to clean water and just a few hours of electricity a day; our children are suffering from malnutrition and our sick are dying at an unimaginable rate for lack of medication and proper treatment.” Stated Palestinian BDS activist Haider Eid
The demonstration was the final protest in a Week of Actions Against Eurovision in Tel Aviv. The Eurovision on stolen land failed to attract the tourists that Israel hoped for and on the day of the competition final half of the tickets remained unsold according to Israeli media reports. Israel’s systemic human rights violations were highlighted in much of the coverage dedicated to the song competition.
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