Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has demanded performing artists from around the world boycott next year’s Eurovision song contest set down for Israel.
In an open letter to the Guardian, a host of artists supported his call, including 1994 winner for Ireland, Charlie McGettigan, for a boycott stating: “Until Palestinians can enjoy freedom, justice and equal rights to all humans, there should be no business-as-usual with the state that is denying them their basic rights.”
Among the signatories, are Crowded House’s Nick Seymour, Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer, formerly of The Knife, film directors Alain Guiraudie, winner of best director at Cannes 2013, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Eyal Sivan and Aki Kaurismäki, Icelandic Eurovision national selection 2017 finalists Daði Freyr and Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir, and Norwegian musician Moddi.
The contest will go to the Jewish state after the win this year by Israel’s Netta Barzilai.
Despite the pleading missive, at least 17 countries have already confirmed their participation in the Eurovision contest in Israel next year – including the Muslim-majority Azerbaijan. Others include Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, Malta, Germany, Serbia, Latvia, Lithuania, France, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Estonia and Slovenia.
Waters has never disguised his contempt for Israel. Last year during an hour-long Q&A session led by anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement leader Omar Barghouti, he compared the Israeli government to Nazi Germany, saying Israel is “the worst regime in the world.”
On Friday, Hadashot TV news reported that the contest will be held in Tel Aviv on May 25, 2019, with the semifinals on May 21 and 23.
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