TEL AVIV – The Palestinian Authority has demanded that footage of Jerusalem be omitted from Israeli promotional videos for Eurovision, accusing Israel of pushing a “colonial occupation” agenda to fans of the international song competition.
Israel’s Kan public broadcaster aired a clip Friday featuring images of Jerusalem, “our beloved capital,” including shots of the Temple Mount — Judaism’s holiest site — with the Dome of the Rock atop.
Eurovision was being cynically used by Israel to “entrench its colonial occupation by effectively normalizing the global acceptance of its unlawful conduct,” the PA’s foreign ministry said.
“The promotional material published in the context of the Eurovision contest and approved by EBU, is unacceptable,” the ministry said, in reference to the European Broadcasting Union that oversees the song contest.
The ministry said it had contacted the EBU for a response over its claims that Israel’s “propaganda material” essentially “wipes … the State of Palestine from the map.”
Kan’s video didn’t only spark backlash from the Palestinians, however. Israelis and U.S. Jewish groups slammed it for featuring anti-Semitic stereotypes, including calling Jews “greedy.”
The video featured a song sung by co-hosts Lucy Ayoub and Elia Grinfeld mocking Israel’s public diplomacy efforts, quipping that the clip itself was a “quick indoctrination.”
📺 This is the land of honey, honey!
Let Lucy and Elia take you in a musical journey throughout the most important parts of Israel. We promise you won't regret it! 👇👇👇 pic.twitter.com/djQlNXPoDe
— KAN Eurovision Israel (@kaneurovision) May 10, 2019
The lyrics included, “It’s a land of war and occupation/ but we have so much more then that.”
At one point, Ayoub points out that she’s an Arab citizen of Israel, saying, “I’m Arab, yes some of us live here.”
The outrage promoted Kan to issue a statement on Twitter.
“Just to be clear: the musical was satire and was meant to deal with stereotypes about Jews and Israel,” the broadcaster wrote. “YES, also by using self-deprecating humor like we love. We know our flaws, and we’re not ashamed to laugh at all of them.”