There has been pressure for a number of European nations to withdraw from next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, scheduled to be hosted by Israel in May 2019. After Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won the Contest in Lisbon last week for her song ‘Toy’, she announced ‘Next Year in Jerusalem!’. Although there has yet to be any official announcement from the national broadcaster IPBC or the EBU, many sources point towards Jerusalem as the host city for 2019. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his interest in Jerusalem hosting the Contest and the other main rival city Tel Aviv have stated they have no interest in putting a bid in.
The news is not welcomed by all, and some politicians, political groups and other individuals have expressed their disgust at the recent and historic violence that the Israeli state has carried out on the Palestinian people on the Gaza Strip. In the wake of the Eurovision result, there has been widespread attacks on Palestinians following the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Among those expressing that their nation should boycott the Contest in 2019 in protest are former winner Charlie McGettigan (Ireland) and a petition started by an Icelandic native has garnered almost 20,000 signatures.