Madonna Defends Decision to Perform at Eurovision in Israel

A Jerusalem Municipality ad for the Eurovision festival at the First Station

Pop icon Madonna said she will not cancel her Eurovision appearance due to calls for a boycott and that she will always call out human rights violations around the world.

After the 41-country competition kicked off in the coastal city on Tuesday with a first semi-final, national broadcaster Kan's webcast cut to animated satellite footage showing explosions in Tel Aviv set to a menacing soundtrack.

The hacking of Kan's website did not affect the regular television relay of the show on Tuesday night in Israel or overseas.

Australia's Kate Miller-Heidke, another favourite to win, also capitalised on a week of hype.

"If there is no signed contract this week, she will not be on the stage".

"But I am happy to say that within a few minutes we managed to assume control over this phenomenon". However, 50 of the dead were later claimed by Hamas to be members of the terror group.

Earlier this month, Israel pounded the Gaza Strip with air raids, artillery and gunboat shooting as armed factions in Gaza fired hundreds of rockets at towns and settlements in southern Israel.


Four people in Israel and more than 20 people in Gaza were killed in two days of fighting, before mediators managed to restore a ceasefire, even as rehearsals for the competition were getting underway.

The association pointed to the killing of over 60 Palestinians during the violent border riots past year on the same day Israel won the Eurovision song contest. Eurovision tradition holds that the winning nation hosts the following year's event.

Palestinian activists have responded, calling Eurovision an "artwashing [of] Israel's brutal oppression of Palestinians".

The insider added that the Material Girl would bring a massive entourage of 160 people and the bill to bring her and her team to Tel Aviv comes in at a staggering $1m (£775,000). The Contest's opening ceremony was protested by pro-Palestine activists.

"After its theft of Palestinian land and culture, Israel is now trying to appropriate a symbol of our nonviolent resistance", Alia Malak of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which oversees the BDS movement's academic and cultural campaigns, was quoted by Reuters as saying. It also facilitates the unlawful transfer of Israeli citizens to settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian-led BDS movement described it as it "crude propaganda straight out of apartheid South Africa's playbook".

A statement from PACBI said: "Israel's decades-old regime of apartheid, apartheid and settler-colonialism explicitly uses worldwide artists and events to cover up its human rights abuses".

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