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Boycott Eurovision in Israel and Tel Aviv Pride

January 28, 2019
/ By /

In the early morning of June 28, 1969, trans and queer people took the streets of New York City fighting police violence and harassment in their communities. The Stonewall Riots symbolize LGBTQIA resistance against daily harassment, assault, death and violence. Enough was enough!

On March 30, 2018, tens of thousands of Palestinians living in Gaza launched the Great March of Return. The March symbolizes Palestinian resistance against Israel’s daily harassment, assault, death and violence against Palestinians. Enough is enough!

Since the beginning of the Great March of Return, Israeli snipers have killed more than 200 unarmed Palestinian protesters, injuring more than 18,000 and leaving many with life-changing disabilities.

On May 14, 2018, just two days after Israel’s Eurovision representative Netta Barzilai won the contest, Israel massacred 62 Palestinians in Gaza, including six children, who were participating in the Great March of Return. That same evening, Netta Barzilai, performed a government-hosted celebratory concert in Tel Aviv, stating, “We have a reason to be happy.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called Israel’s Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai “the best ambassador of Israel.”

Finding resonances between police and military violence against Palestinians and LGBTQIA people worldwide and between the Great March of Return and the Stonewall Riots, we, the undersigned queer and trans liberation organizations, call on LGBTQIA communities to boycott the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest to be hosted by Israel.

Israel’s regime of military occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid is shamelessly using the Eurovision competition as part of its official Brand Israel strategy, which tries to show “Israel’s prettier face” to distract attention from its war crimes against Palestinians.

Eurovision has attracted the interest, passion and support from the LGBTQIA community for decades and Israel sees in this a great opportunity to forward its pinkwashing agenda, the cynical use of gay rights distract from and normalize Israel’s occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.

The Israeli government-backed Tel Aviv Pride is promoting Eurovision alongside Tel Aviv Pride in order to reap maximum benefits for Israel for an entire month of pinkwashing.

Palestinian queers have called for a boycott of Tel Aviv Pride to show that LGBTQIA communities have no interest in becoming “ambassadors of Israel” like Barzilai.

After her victory, Barzilai performed at Tel Aviv Pride, the crowning moment of Israel’s annual efforts to promote Tel Aviv as a liberal haven while simultaneously imposing a system of racist laws, a brutal military occupation and apartheid policies on the Palestinian people.

Eurovision itself is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors who will unwittingly become accomplices to Israel’s spectacle of cultural propaganda, while at the same time financially supporting Israel’s violent regime. Similarly, Tel Aviv Pride aims to host international visitors, hereby strengthening its impunity and business as usual branding strategy, while diverting attention from the Palestinian plight for justice.

Eurovision and Tel Aviv Pride in Israel must be boycotted to resist pinkwashing, to avoid complicity and business-as-usual with this regime and to denounce Israel’s ongoing human rights violations.

We join mounting calls from around the world and urge:

  • Members of the LGBTQIA community to boycott Eurovision 2019 so long as Israel is hosting it
  • Grassroots movements, LGBTQIA businesses, artists, and NGOs in participating countries to protest Israel’s hosting of Eurovision 2019 and for peaceful boycott actions
  • Our colleagues, artists and journalists, to publicly support and spread this call

As in the struggle against apartheid South Africa, only through effective and sustained international pressure will Israel be compelled to comply with its obligations under international law and to respect the human rights of Palestinians.

Add organizational signatures for LGBTQIA groups by completing this form.

alQaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, Palestine
Pinkwatching Israel, Palestine
Aswat - Palestinian Feminist Center for Sexual and Gender Freedoms, Palestine

Community Action Against Homophobia, Australia
Ermin Mujanovic, Australia
Le Space, Belgium
Queers Support The Migrants BXL, Belgium
Asiáticos pela Diversidade, Brazil
Enhedslistens Queerudvalg, Denmark
Queer Exchange CPH, Denmark
QueerCut, Denmark
TransAktion, Denmark
Transpolitisk Forum, Denmark
UngtUnivers, Denmark
Bedayaa organisation for LGBTQI+ in the Nile Valley Area, Egypt & Sudan
Pink & Black Helsinki, Finland
Queers without borders, Finland
Act Up Sud Ouest, France
Collectif Irrécupérables, France
LGBT pour la Palestine (Queers for Palestine France), France
Berlin Against Pinkwashing, Germany
Queer Antizionists Giessen, Germany
Queer Faction of the Jewish Antifa Berlin, Germany
Movimiento de Diversidad en Resistencia (MDR), Honduras
Queer Action Ireland , Ireland
Unison Northern Ireland LGBT, Ireland
AhSqueerTo, Italy
Arcigay Napoli, Italy
Arcigay Tralaltro Padova, Italy
Assemblea transterritoriale TerraCorpiTerritori di Non Una di Meno, Italy
Associazione Giosef Unito – GIOvani SEnza Frontiere, Italy
Associazione Lista Lesbica Italiana, Italy
Circolo Pink GLBTE di Verona, Italy
Fuori dai Binari, Italy
Irragionevole, Italy
Laboratorio Smaschieramenti, Italy
Maurice GLBTQ, Italy
Pianeta Viola, Italy
Pride Off, Italy
Shannara Cooperativa Sociale, Italy
Valèrie Taccarelli, Italy
Liberatzione, Italy (Sardinia)
Feminism and Lesbian Art working group, Japan
Queering Futu-no-LGBT, Japan
BeLonG To, Ireland
Sinn Féin LGBT, Ireland
Foyle Pride Festival Committee, Northern Ireland
Pink Intifada, Malaysia
Queers4Palestine, Norway
Fabryka Równości, Poland
Academia Cidadã | Citizenship Academy, Portugal
Não te prives – Grupo de defesa dos direitos sexuais, Portugal
Panteras Rosa – Frente de Combate à LesBiGayTransfobia, Portugal
PATH – Plataforma Anti Transfobia e Homofobia de Coimbra, Portugal
UMAR – União de Mulheres Alternativa e Resposta, Portugal
Umar Coimbra, Portugal
Drustvo Legebitra, Slovenia
Društvo ŠKUC, Slovenia
TransAkcija Institute, Slovenia
Asamblea de Marikas Libertarias Transfeministas de Barcelona, Spanish State
Asamblea Transmaricabollo de Sol (15M), Spanish State
Avante LGBT, Spanish State (Galiza)
Bloque Andaluz de a Revolución Sexual, Spanish State
BDS Comisión Pinkwatching, Spanish State
Bloque Bollero, Spanish State
Colectivo Towanda, Spanish State
Consell de la Joventut de Barcelona, Spanish state
Degenerades, Spanish State
DiversAH, Spanish State
Marea Arcoíris La Rioja, Spanish State
Movimiento Marika de Madrid, Spanish State
N.O.M.A.D.A.S oficina de migración y atención a la diversidad afectivo sexual, Spanish State
Orgullo Crítico Madrid, Spanish State
Orgullo Vallekano, Spanish State
Observatorio Ético Internacional – OBETI, Spanish State
Proyecto Rivera, Spanish State
Queers por Palestina, Spanish State
Red Marikones del Sur, Spanish State
RpM – Colectivo Transfeminista, Spanish State
Euskal Herriko Bilgune Feminista, Spanish State (Basque Country)
MDMA taldea, Spanish State (Basque Country)
Sare Lesbianista, Spanish State (Basque Country)
TransGaliza, Spanish State (Galiza)
Crida LGBTI, Spanish state (Països Catalans)
València Crida, Spanish State (País Valencià)
Rosa Que Te Quiero Rosa (RQTR), Spanish State
Revolutionär Pride Stockholm/Revolutionary Pride Stockholm, Sweden
Damj, the Tunisian association for justice and equality, Tunisia
Black Queer and Trans Resistance, The Netherlands
Maruf , The Netherlands
Sehaq Queer Refugees Group, The Netherlands
TIYE International, The Netherlands
Mawjoudin We Exist, Tunisia
ACT UP London, United Kingdom
Friends of the Joiners Arms, United Kingdom
Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants – Bristol, United Kingdom
No to Pinkwashing, United Kingdom
Queer Strike, United Kingdom
Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time, United Kingdom
Queerspace East London, United Kingdom
Sister not Cis-ter UK, United Kingdom
UNISON National LGBT committee, United Kingdom
Gay Liberation Network, United States
Irish Queers, United States
Jewish Voice for Peace New York City Queer Caucus, United States
Methodist Federation for Social Action , United States
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QAIA-NYC), United States
Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!), United States
The Queer Palestinian Empowerment Network, United States

January 28, 2019
/ By /


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