(April 30, 2019 / JNS) More than 100 artists, including KISS frontman Gene Simmons and television-reality star Sharon Osbourne, have signed a statement against calls for boycotting the Eurovision song competition next month in Tel Aviv.
“We believe that unifying events, such as singing competitions, are crucial to help bridge our cultural divides and bring people of all backgrounds together through their shared love of music,” reads the statement. “The annual Eurovision Song Contest embodies this unifying power. Every year, millions of people across Europe, and around the world, join together in a massive display of cultural exchange and celebration of music.”
“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,” it continued. “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.”
“This year, approximately 200 million people will watch, visit and take part in the Eurovision song contest, celebrating music and the diversity of our different cultures,” said Ari Ingel, director of Creative Community for Peace, which organized the petition. “The members of the entertainment industry who have signed this statement, along with the thousands of individuals who have endorsed its message, all believe in building bridges through music and the arts as a means to achieving greater understanding and peace in the region.”
Eurovision starts on May 14 and ends on May 18.