Rumours swirling since January that Madonna will perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv next month were confirmed on Monday by the European Broadcasting Union.
And despite the repeated refrain from some quarters that holding Eurovision in Israel is “not political”, the Canadian-Israeli billionaire footing the bill for the $1m performance has made no secret of the political purpose behind securing Madonna.
From Israel’s perspective, Madonna is a great coup.
As a longstanding gay icon and ally, she appeals to Eurovision’s LGBT+ fanbase and fits in neatly with the pinkwashing marketing strategy being deployed around the event, a key plank of the government’s official “Brand Israel” campaign which aims to distract attention from its human rights abuses.
What seems confused, is Madonna’s position. In the past, she has spoken about the importance of supporting “human dignity and respect” while reminding people that “the children of Gaza need our support!”. But working with Israel furthers none of those causes.
Many of the children she previously spoke up for will now be teenagers. They’ll likely have participated in the weekly Great Return March protests which just marked their one-year anniversary.
Perhaps some were even among those (including children, medics and journalists) who, according to a UN report released in February, Israel deliberately shot during its brutal repression of these demonstrations.
All of them will undoubtedly be suffering the effects of the humanitarian crisis engineered by Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
Palestinians outside of Gaza – including children – also face daily violence, home demolitions and imprisonment without trial, on top of ongoing exclusion from the homeland from which they were ethnically cleansed...
Madonna's Eurovision appearance will celebrated by the Israeli government and its supporters. But supporters of the Palestinian campaign for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions are already calling on her to follow the example of Lauryn Hill, Lana Del Rey and Lorde and cancel her Israel gig. It would be a meaningful act of care for children in Gaza if she did.
Read the full article, by Hilary Aked, here.