Eurovision in Israel boycott motion to be tabled in Derry

Councillor Sandra Duffy with Caol�n McGinley and Naill Rodgers collecting signatures in the city
Councillor Sandra Duffy with Caol�n McGinley and Naill Rodgers collecting signatures in the city

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy is to table a motion this week calling for Ireland and other participants not to take part in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Israel.

The party’s group leader on Derry and Strabane Council said the motion will ask the council to write to RTÉ and BBC expressing concern at the “continued slaughter and human rights abuse against the Palestinians.”

The Eurovision contest is to be held in Tel Aviv in May after Israeli entrant ‘Netta’ won the 2018 competition with ‘Toy’.

Colr. Duffy said that in recent years, increasing numbers of major sporting, cultural and music figures have joined calls from the international boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, not to perform in Israel.

She said the Eurovision motion will call on the council to support the campaign for Ireland and other participants “not to take part in the contest this year in accordance with Derry City and Strabane District Council’s support for the BDS policy”.

She said: “The Eurovision Song Contest should not be used as a tool for Israel to whitewash its daily human rights abuse, breaches of International Law through illegal settlement building and the murder of Palestinians in Gaza, which they have turned into an open air prison.

“The arts, music and, indeed, sport have a key role to play in sending a strong message internationally in rejection of the brutality carried out against Palestinians by Israeli State forces.

“We have an excellent opportunity to shine the light on the murder of Palestinians by boycotting the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Israel,” claimed Colr. Duffy.