Signatories to letter say venue must change because of ‘Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian human rights’; BBC rejects call
Jan 30, 2019
Some 50 British cultural figures, including musician Peter Gabriel and actress Julie Christie, signed a letter published on Tuesday in the Guardian calling on the BBC to push for the locale of this year’s Eurovision song contest to be changed because of “Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian human rights.”
The BBC rejected the call, saying it was ‘inappropriate to use the BBC’s participation for political reasons.’
“The European Broadcasting Union chose Tel Aviv as the venue over occupied Jerusalem – but this does nothing to protect Palestinians from land theft, evictions, shootings, beatings and more by Israel’s security forces,” read the letter.
“The BBC is bound by its charter to ‘champion freedom of expression,'” the figures said. “It should act on its principles and press for Eurovision to be relocated to a country where crimes against that freedom are not being committed.”