The Guardian published a letter of 141 artists from “Europe and beyond” calling for a Eurovision 2019 boycott. The reason is, of course, the host country, Israel. The letter is signed by huge names in the cultural industry like Roger Waters and Ken Loach, Eurovision 1994 winner Charlie McGettigan, former participants in Eurovision pre-selections and 6 Israeli artists. Eurovision fans might remember Daði Freyr and Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir, participants of Söngvakeppnin 2017, who are also signing this publication.
A couple of quotes from the letter:
We, the undersigned artists from Europe and beyond, support the heartfelt appeal from Palestinian artists to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 hosted by Israel. Until Palestinians can enjoy freedom, justice and equal rights, there should be no business-as-usual with the state that is denying them their basic rights.
We understand that the European Broadcasting Union is demanding that Israel finds a “non-divisive” location for the 2019 Eurovision. It should cancel Israel’s hosting of the contest altogether and move it to another country with a better human rights record. Injustice divides, while the pursuit of dignity and human rights unites.
Earlier this summer the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate and network of Palestinian cultural organizations, published a letter which is getting support from the one published on Friday. They were asking: “Would the Eurovision have held the contest in apartheid South Africa?”, making a parallelism with the current political situation in the host country of Eurovision 2019.
Despite the “loud” calls towards EBU, participating states, contestants and the wider public to boycott the contest, it seems highly unlikely to happen. The preparations and negotiations between EBU and the host broacaster KAN are in full swing with the announcement of the host city expected to be made in the near future.