Culture

Eurovision 2019: Madonna Defends Performance At Israel Finale

Eurovision 2019: Madonna Defends Performance At Israel Finale”

Calls for her to boycott were led by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) who released an open letter asking her to "not undermine" the Palestinian struggle for "freedom, justice and equality".

Madonna intends to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest final in Tel Aviv, Israel, this weekend, despite calls by activists for her to boycott the event, the singer said Tuesday.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has grown recently in artistic circles - most notably, Lana Del Rey and Lorde cancelled concerts in Israel when fans asked them to.

Israel is hosting the Eurovision contest after local singer Netta Barzilai won previous year.

Israel earned the right to host after Israeli singer Netta Barzilai carried off last year's prize with her spunky pop anthem "Toy".

The pop icon confirmed Tuesday she has rejected calls for her to boycott this year's Eurovision, saying she will "never stop playing music to suit someone's political agenda".

"My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict".

She says she prays for "a new path toward peace".

Curiously, it's unclear whether Madonna's performance is actually going ahead in the first place.

Miller-Heidke has made it through to the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest, along with nine countries out of the other 16 that were also vying for a spot.

Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from the rally, said: "For the activists here, it [the protest] coincides with the first anniversary of the moving of the United States embassy to Jerusalem and the border protest that took place in Gaza on the same day when more than 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli sniper fire". "We have an artist that would love to participate on the stage, but without the contract, it can't happen".

Australians will be able to view the Grand Final live on SBS from 5am, Sunday May 19. The Contest's opening ceremony was protested by pro-Palestine activists. She is expected to perform two songs during the show's interval, including one track from her new Madame X album.

Some pro-Palestinian activists have called for performers and worldwide broadcasters to boycott the show due to Israel being the host nation. "The EBU and KAN view cybersecurity with the utmost importance and the matter is being investigated", the broadcaster's statement read, as cited by the Jerusalem Post.



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