AUSTRALIANS Ilan Kidron, Lior and Deborah Conway have joined over 100 other entertainment industry identities to reject calls for a boycott of next week’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Other signatories to the open letter, published by entertainment industry non-profit organisation Creative Community For Peace (CCFP), include Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, TV personality Sharon Osbourne and comedian Stephen Fry.
Kidron, whose musical projects include multi-platinum winning dance act The Potbelleez, told The AJN, “By attempting to impose a cultural ban, you’re not encouraging dialogue or a sense of understanding.
“I just don’t get how putting on a concert or lecturing at a university is a problem to some people. These are places we should be able to express ourselves and our views. These sorts of actions will only create further division.”
The open letter states that music “transcends boundaries and brings people together under a common bond”.
It continues, “The annual Eurovision Song Contest embodies this unifying power … Unfortunately, this year, the spirit of togetherness is under attack by those calling to boycott Eurovision 2019 because it is being held in Israel, subverting the spirit of the contest and turning it from a tool of unity into a weapon of division.
“We believe the cultural boycott movement is an affront to both Palestinians and Israelis who are working to advance peace through compromise, exchange, and mutual recognition. While we all may have differing opinions on … the best path to peace, we all agree that a cultural boycott is not the answer.”
It concludes, “We call on all our friends and colleagues around the world to express their support for an exciting and successful Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv.”
A change.org petition with identical wording had received over 16,500 signatories at the time of going to print.
Australia’s Eurovision entrant Kate Miller-Heidke arrived in Israel earlier this week to prepare for her performance.