Palestinian activists respond to Madonna’s defence of Eurovision performance


But Madonna's participation unleashed a storm of protests from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has for years been pushing for investors and artists to shun Israel for its decades-long occupation of Palestinian territories.

Speaking to Sky News, Wolf Alice guitarist Joff Oddie that Israel was "weaponising culture" and using Eurovision to "whitewash over their human rights abuses".

"We are in a situation now that is a bit odd", said Eurovision's executive supervisor, Jon Ola Sand, at a news conference in Tel Aviv.

Madonna will continue with arrangements to perform at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest final in Tel Aviv, Israel on Saturday, ignoring calls for her to boycott the event from human rights activists around the world.

Madonna performs "Nothing Compares 2 U" during her tribute to Prince at the 2016 Billboard Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 22, 2016.

However, the Eurovision organizers said the 60-year-old's participation was not yet signed and sealed, and that the final contract for her participation had yet to be finalized.

Madonna issued a statement on Tuesday, ahead of her expected arrival in Tel Aviv for a Wednesday performance at Eurovision.

Madonna has recently released a series of singles in the lead up to Madame X, her 14th album, out June 14.

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But how did the singer - whose voice was once described by USA singer-songwriter Ben Folds as "one of the best in the world" - fare in her bid to make it through to the grand final?

"I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this awful cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace".

They received the night's loudest cheer, combining dance music, heavy rock and pop in front of an worldwide audience at the Expo Tel Aviv.

Abusalama sings: "Madonna I know you're going to be annoyed, cause Eurovision's keeping you employed, but you should know by now about the BDS movement".

The contest-which previous year drew 189 million viewers-will be co-produced by the European Broadcasting Union and Israeli public broadcaster KAN. "Everywhere's f****d, and in terms of the cultural boycott of Israel, that's what the Palestinian people have asked for".

Protesters in Ireland also called for RTE studios to boycott the event.

In 2008, the format was extended to include two semifinal shows, held on the Tuesday and Thursday prior to the final - which traditionally takes place on a Saturday - as the number of participating countries had swelled to preclude featuring every entrant in a single show.