Palestinian Group Urges Hatari To Withdraw From Eurovision - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Palestinian Group Urges Hatari To Withdraw From Eurovision

Published April 30, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Main photo by
Art Bicnick

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is urging Hatari to withdraw from Eurovision in order to show support for the Palestinian people, rather than perform with a statement of solidarity.

As reported, Hatari have from the outset of their Eurovision hopes indicated that they also aim to express solidarity with the Palestinian people while in Tel Aviv, where Eurovision will be held this year. This has included challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a wrestling match.

If Hatari want to support the Palestinians, PACBI have said in a statement, then the best thing they can do is boycott Eurovision altogether.

“Artists who insist on crossing the Palestinian boycott picket line, playing Tel Aviv in defiance of our calls, cannot offset the harm they do to our human rights struggle by ‘balancing’ their complicit act with some project with Palestinians,” their statement reads in part. “Palestinian civil society overwhelmingly rejects this fig-leafing, having learnt from the fight against apartheid in South Africa. While we appreciate gestures of solidarity, we cannot accept them when they come with an act that clearly undermines our nonviolent human rights movement. The most meaningful expression of solidarity is to cancel performances in apartheid Israel.”

The Eurovision boycott has been gaining ground, with voices urging artists to withdraw coming from Palestinians and Israelis, in addition to hundreds of queer rights groups, former Eurovision artists and thousands of ordinary people.

PACBI is a founding member of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement National Committee, the largest Palestinian civil society coalition. Founded in 2005, the movement aims for “the end of Israel’s military occupation, full equality for Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.”

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