Israel should host Eurovision 2019 without being impeded by those calling for a boycott of the Jewish state, according to the editorial board of the the Irish Examiner.
Irish TV host Mike Murphy and former Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan joined pro-Palestinian politicians in May demanding Ireland boycott next year’s song contest in Jerusalem.
Broadcaster Murphy claimed Ireland needs to make a stand in support of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.
He said: “I think this is an opportunity now where boycott comes right into it, and this is where we need to stand up and be counted and say, ‘We’re not competing’.”
Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan has also called for Ireland to boycott the 2019 edition, due to be staged in the capital Jerusalem after Netta Barzilai’s win this year.
#Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan calls for boycott of Eurovision in Israel. “It’s a chance for the whole of Europe … to make a statement and sort of say, ‘Look, we don’t agree with this, to celebrate while other people are dying’.” https://t.co/yPf3Moil6w #GreatReturnMarch pic.twitter.com/uu08OdBcPe
— PACBI (@PACBI) May 17, 2018
Despite those calls, the Irish Examiner pointed out Israel remains the only true, functioning democracy in the Middle East and to boycott it would be a gross display of hypocrisy.
It said the push, “would have no impact one way or the other on the policies of Israel’s government which, lest it be conveniently overlooked, represents the region’s only democracy and whose highest priority is the protection of its citizens from those whose wish is to wipe the country off the map.”
“There is in this campaign, endorsed in Ireland by notable gay and feminist activists, the refrain of hypocrisy,” the oped noted.
“The boycott brigade, marching for human rights and social justice, sees Israel’s defence of itself as a primarily Jewish state as a war crime,” it continued. “We look forward to reporting its demands for an international boycott of, say, Saudi Arabia or Iran where, when we last looked, gay and feminist activists would not be tolerated.”
The push to boycott Israel is not restricted to Ireland. Elsewhere, the Iceland-Palestine organisation has urged voters to head to an online petition urging the country to boycott Eurovision 2019.
The petiton currently has just over 30,000 supporters.
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