The IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign) kicked off a Eurovision 2019 boycott campaign at Dublin’s famous Ha’penny Bridge, earlier today.
Fellow Eurovision host among protesters
A host of activists and well known personalities attended the launch of a campaign which hopes to see Ireland’s withdrawal from next year’s competition in Israel. The IPSC was set up in 2001 by a group of human rights activists who campaign for justice for the Palestinian people, via public awareness.
One of those involved in the protest is 1997 host Carrie Crowley, who believes the campaign will make a big difference.
“It’s a global institution, the Eurovision so by saying look we are boycotting it, we’re going to make people think much more people think about it and the injustices and unfairness of it”
Even if it just makes it more prominent as an issue in people’s minds. I think that’s what we’re here to do today
Riverdance designer urges RTE not to send an artist to Israel
Since Israel’s victory in Lisbon last month, the petition has received over 3,500 signatures. Riverdance set designer, Robert Ballagh, was among the protesters who gathered in Dublin on Wednesday. Speaking to The Belfast Telegraph, he made the following comments:
“I have always supported the rights of the Palestinian people and I’m very concerned that the Israeli state will use the possibility of staging Eurovision in Jerusalem as a propaganda exercise and I become uneasy when any state begin to employ culture as a propaganda tool.
“We’ve seen the dangers of that in past history. “I want to urge RTE not to send an Irish song to the contest.”
Politician feels Eurovision in Israel is ‘inappropriate’
Irish Politician, David Norris believes staging the contest in Israel is inappropriate, given the conflict currently taking place in the country.
“I think it’s very inappropriate to have an entertainment contest there when all this is going on a couple of miles away.
I think people will pay attention if Ireland pull out because it has such a history in the song contest.
It’s nothing against the woman who won the contest but more so against staging it in a country which is behaving in an appalling way.”
Not everyone is on board with a boycott however. Former Eurovision winner, Linda Martin, is against the idea, insisting that the seven time winning nation should be present in Israel.
“Let’s be honest about it, we are never going to win the World Cup but we enter every time and that’s the way it should be. I just think it’s credibility for the country. We should be in everything possible.”
RTE yet to confirm 2019 participation
RTE are yet to announce their intention to participate at next year’s contest. This year, Ireland reached the grand final for the first time in five years. Ryan O’Shaughnessy represented the country with the song “Together”.