Australia’s Kate-Miller Heidke will take to the Eurovision stage in Tel-Aviv for the first semi-final on Wednesday. But the talk of this year’s contest so far has been a boycott campaign backed by supporters of the Palestinian territories.
Early on Wednesday morning, Australia’s Kate-Miller Heidke will take to the Eurovision stage in Tel-Aviv for the first semi-final – but this year’s contest has been somewhat overshadowed by a boycott campaign, backed by supporters of the Palestinian Territories.
While the Israeli government has called the campaign discriminatory and anti-Semitic, local musicians say they hope it will trigger international reflection.
Ramallah-based singer Maya Khaldi has strong feelings about Israel hosting the song contest and the fact no nations have pulled out.
“It definitely in one way or another talks about the world right now. They see what’s happening, but they don’t want to make a change,” she told SBS News.
“There’s no artist without morals, there’s no artist without value, and if you are an artist with values then you need to take a stand, you’d need to say no to what you see is wrong.”
The “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement”, better known as BDS, has mounted the high-profile campaign pressuring European nations not to attend the contest in Tel Aviv.
“There’s no way for Eurovision to happen in a way which is not complicit with what the government does,” according to Tali Shapiro, an activist with BDS.