Artists call for boycott of Israel-hosted Eurovision 2019 – UK signatories

Artists, musicians and writers from 18 different  countries have published an open letter in the Guardian which condemns the purported hosting of Eurovision 2019 in Israel, saying that the contest should be moved to a non-divisive location, and – citing the recent killing of large numbers of Palestinian civilians – to a country with a better human rights record.
  • Personal statements by international artists can be found here.
  • In addition to the selection of international names in the Guardian, see the full list of British signatories attached to the letter here:

We, the undersigned artists from Europe and beyond, support the heartfelt appeal from Palestinian artists to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 hosted by Israel. Until Palestinians can enjoy freedom, justice and equal rights to all humans, there should be no business-as-usual with the state that is denying them their basic rights.

On May 14, days after Israel’s Eurovision win, the Israeli army killed 62 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, including six children, and injured hundreds, most with live ammunition. Amnesty International has condemned Israel’s shoot-to-kill-or-maim policy and Human Rights Watch described the killings as “unlawful and calculated.”

Eurovision 2019 should be boycotted if it is hosted by Israel while it continues its grave, decades-old violations of Palestinian human rights. We understand that the European Broadcasting Union is demanding that Israel finds a non-divisive’ location for the 2019 Eurovision. It should cancel Israel’s hosting of the contest altogether and move it to another country with a better human rights record. Injustice divides, while the pursuit of dignity and human rights unites.

Signed: (UK signatories)

Hanan al-Shaykh, writer

Amir Amirani, filmmaker

Bidisha, journalist and broadcaster

Nicholas Blincoe, writer

Haim Bresheeth, filmmaker

Victoria Brittain, writer

David Calder, actor

Carmen Callil, publisher and writer

Julie Christie, actor

Caryl Churchill, playwright

Ruth Daniel, artistic director, In Place of War

April de Angelis, playwright

Andy de la Tour, actor and writer

Tam Dean Burn, actor

Shane Dempsey, theatre director

Nancy Elan, violinist

Brian Eno, composer

Gareth Evans, curator and writer

Naomi Foyle, writer

Jane Frere, artist

Debbie Golt, broadcaster

Mel Gooding, writer and critic

Trevor Griffiths, playwright

Rachel Holmes, writer

Robb Johnson, songwriter

John Keane, artist

Reem Kelani, musician and broadcaster

Sarah Kemp, musician, Brave Timbers

A.L. Kennedy, writer

Hannah Khalil, writer

Judith Knight, producer

Peter Kosminsky, writer and director

Adam Kossoff, artist-filmmaker

Desmond Lambert, musician, Some Velvet Morning

Paul Laverty, scriptwriter

Mike Leigh, writer and director

Tom Leonard, poet

Ken Loach, filmmaker

Maeve Mackinnon, Gaelic singer

Sabrina Mahfouz, writer

Ahmed Masoud, writer and director

Kika Markham, actor

Julian Maynard-Smith, director

JD Meatyard, singer, songwriter, musician

Pauline Melville, writer

Jenny Morgan, filmmaker

Laura Mulvey, writer and filmmaker

Rebecca O’Brien, producer

Gary O’Dea, songwriter and musician

Leon Rosselson, songwriter

Yara Salahiddeen, singer

Alexei Sayle, comedian and author

Andrew Scrogham, musician, Brave Timbers

Nick Seymour, musician, Crowded House

Farhana Sheikh, writer

Sigmatron, DJ and producer

Chris Somes-Charlton, artist manager

Roger Waters, musician

Hilary Westlake, theatre director

Wolf Alice, band

Penny Woolcock, writer and director


3 thoughts on “Artists call for boycott of Israel-hosted Eurovision 2019 – UK signatories

  1. Dimitrios Tsouris says:

    It is utterly incomprehensible that the Eurovision Song Contest should be held in a country that is so devoid of any humanity towards the Palestinians.
    With my own country of Cyprus still divided, I understand the trauma of being occupied.


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