Northern Ireland news

Boycott Eurovision in Israel, urges Sinn Féin

Israel's Netta won the contest with her track Toy

SINN Féin is supporting calls for the Republic's government to boycott next year's Eurovision Song Contest in Israel.

A group of Irish artists and politicians last year said the event should be avoided in response to the humanitarian crisis in Palestine.

They included Senator David Norris, Riverdance set designer Robert Ballagh, singer Mary Black and Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan.

The contest is scheduled to take place in Israel in 2019, following its victory this year with the song Toy, performed by Netta.

Sinn Féin's culture, arts and sport spokeswoman, Sinead Ennis said the contest would be an opportunity to "shine the spotlight on the slaughter of the Palestinians".

"In recent years, increasing numbers of major sporting, cultural and music figures have joined calls from the internal Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, not to perform in Israel," she said.

"The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, which is world renowned, is set to take place in Israel. As someone who has a great love of the competition, I am disappointed.

"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 sport, she said, had a key role to play in sending a strong message internationally.

"The Irish government have an opportunity shine the light on the murder of Palestinians by boycotting the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Israel," she added.

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