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Don’t artwash Israeli crimes: Cancel your performance at Eurovision

Add your name to our letter to Madonna asking her not to artwash apartheid. Tell her to cancel her May, 2019 performance in Israel.


Dear Madonna,

We appeal to you to cancel your performance at Eurovision 2019 in Israel. Israel’s regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is shamelessly using Eurovision as part of its official Brand Israel strategy, a propaganda campaign showing “Israel’s prettier face” in order to whitewash and distract attention from its war crimes against Palestinians.

In 2014, during the brutal massacre in Gaza that killed over 2,000 people, including over 550 children, you posted a Peace picture on Instagram supporting Anera, an organization devoted to improving the lives of Palestinian refugees and poor families in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon. You wrote: "Cease fire on both sides! The children of Gaza need our support!” Another of your Instagram posts compared flowers to innocent children in Gaza and stated "Who has a right to destroy [the children]? No One!!! CEASE FIRE! #peaceinthemiddleeast".                                               

Since 2014, the lives of children in Gaza have gotten much worse. They face a humanitarian crisis created by the Israeli economic blockade and frequent bombings. Some 97% of the water in Gaza is unfit to drink and access to medicine and electricity is scarce. The majority of Palestinians living in Gaza are refugees who were forced from their homes when Israel was established. All they want is to be able to live in freedom and to return to the land their families were expelled from.

According to a United Nations report, between March 30 and December 31, 2018 Israel intentionally killed at least 183 Palestinians in Gaza, including children, and medical workers. They also killed journalists clearly marked as press, including 21-year-old paramedic Razan al-Najar and 30-year-old videographer Yaser Murtaja.

Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem face daily humiliations and violence, including checkpoints, child imprisonment, home demolitions and more. The separate and unequal system that Israel imposes on Palestinians is a daily nightmare.

If you choose to follow through with your performance at Eurovision, it will be seen as an endorsement of Israel’s brutal military occupation and disregard for Palestinian children suffering terribly in Gaza and the West Bank. Cancelling your performance, on the other hand, would send a strong message that Palestinians, like all people, deserve equal rights and freedom. You would be following in the footsteps of artists like Lauryn Hill, Lorde, and most recently, Natalie Portman. You are well known as an advocate for children and for human rights. Please act now for the sake of Palestinian children, so they may have a future free of occupation and suffering. Please cancel your concert in Israel.   

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