The singer Peter Gabriel, the filmmaker Ken Loach, the designer Vivienne Westwood … Up to 50 British personalities sign a manifesto in favor of the BBC boycott the contest Eurovision which is planned in May in Israel. "As much as it is a light entertainment, it is not exempt from considerations related to human rights and we can not ignore the systematic violation of the rights of the Palestinians," reads the document, which has published the newspaper The Guardian.
The text says that the event, the biggest televised contest with live music in the world, is held in Tel Aviv and not in Jerusalem, since the eastern part of this city, mainly Palestinian, is occupied by Israel. "But this does not contribute in any way to the protection of the Palestinians against the theft of lands, the expulsions, the shootings and the beatings of the Israeli security forces", lament the artists, among whom they appear as well the filmmaker Mike Leigh and the musician Roger Waters, one of the founders of Pink Floyd.
The song that will represent the United Kingdom should be chosen on February 8 during a BBC public television program. A "dubious honor", the signatories affirm. "When discrimination and exclusion are so deeply anchored, the Eurovision 2019 will to celebrate diversity and inclusion sounds hollow," they add.
The BBC has rejected any type of boycott. "The Eurovision song festival is not a political event," the British public broadcaster told AFP. "The competition always supported the values of friendship, inclusion, tolerance and diversity, and we thought that it would not be appropriate to use the participation of the BBC for political purposes."