What is an Apartheid-Free Eurovision Party?

Inspired by the struggle against South African apartheid, Palestinian civil society has called since 2004 for the cultural boycott of Israel, to challenge the impunity of Israel’s regime of apartheid, occupation and settler-colonialism.

Israel’s 2018 Eurovision win means the 2019 contest will be held in Tel Aviv on Saturday 18th May. But just tens of miles away down the coast, two million Palestinians in Gaza are held by Israel under a medieval siege, with the movement of people and goods severely limited. Israeli forces killed 290 Palestinians last year, mostly in Gaza, and injured more than 20,000 others.

Last year Israel adopted a new law further enshrining racist discrimination against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. And Israel specifically uses culture to whitewash its oppression of Palestinians, with a foreign ministry official stating: “We see culture as a hasbara [propaganda] tool of the first rank, and I do not differentiate between hasbara and culture.”

So Eurovision’s glitz, glamour and fun is the perfect opportunity for Israel to cover up its occupation, apartheid and systematic denial of Palestinian human rights. That’s why Palestinian cultural organisations, hundreds of prominent artists, and tens of thousands of people around the world have called for the boycott of Eurovision this year.

Instead of tuning into Eurovision this May, why not attend or host an Apartheid-Free Eurovision party instead? Simply switch off the broadcast from apartheid Israel and instead celebrate Eurovision’s real values of inclusion and diversity, as well as its joyous songs, including the historic winners.

Parties near you

There are alternative and #ApartheidFreeEurovision parties happening across Europe! Click here for listings. Parties are being added all the time.

Host an Apartheid-Free Eurovision Party

Whether you are an events promoter, venue manager, or you just enjoy inviting friends over to watch Eurovision, it’s easy to host an Apartheid-Free Eurovision party!

Just switch off the broadcast from apartheid Israel, and instead:

  • Celebrate your favorite Eurovision contests, artists, and songs from previous years. There are so many to choose from it is impossible to run out of material!
  • Have a Eurovision legends-only night, with the irrepressible Abba, who won in 1974 with Waterloo, and British winners Bucks Fizz, with their 1981 classic Making Your Mind Up!
  • Sing some of our 'Boycott Eurovision' songs like Yes BDS (YMCA), Solidarity (We Are Family), A Little Respect (for international law), or write your own alternative lyrics!
  • Dance to this specially-curated Spotify playlist, with a mixture of classic Eurovision numbers and Palestinian and Arab pop!
  • Celebrate the vibrant Palestinian pop and dance scene with artists like rapper Shadia Mansour, Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf, techno DJ Sama, electronic group 47Soul, and hip-hop pioneers DAM and Ramallah Underground!
  • Watch (or screen) Boiler Room’s Palestine Underground documentary, featuring artists from Palestine’s hip-hop, trap and techno scene!
  • Turn your party into a fundraiser too! Raise money for a Palestinian charity or NGO, such as alQaws, a grassroots civil society organisation that builds LGBTQ communities and supports sexual and gender diversity in Palestinian society.
  • Learn some Dabke, the traditional Palestinian dance, and impress your friends!
  • Follow some simple recipes to make Palestinian food for your party!
  • Click here to send a tweet saying you’ll hold your own apartheid-free Eurovision party! Or post on other networks, using the hashtag #ApartheidFreeEurovision
  • Want to approach your favourite venue about holding an apartheid-free Eurovision party? Click here for our template letter that you can adapt!
  • Post photos on social networks on the night of your party with the hashtag #ApartheidFreeEurovision.

Whatever you’re planning, email us at apartheidfree.eurovision@gmail.com to get or share more tips and ideas! If it’s a public event, we and our networks can help promote it.