Queer pro-Palestine activists will lead a colourful karaoke protest outside famous London LGBT nightclub Heaven on Wednesday, 21 November, when controversial Eurovision 2018 winner for Israel Netta Barzilai performs.
Organized by London Palestine Action, the musical protest will also feature dabke â a Palestinian folk dance â and Palestinian solidarity versions of gay anthems with lyrics re-written to call out Israel for its violations of human rights.
The group, earlier, wrote an open letter to club owner Jeremy Joseph, asking him to âstand on the right side of historyâ and cancel Nettaâs gig .
PNN reports that Queer Palestine solidarity activist Layla White said: âI am a huge fan of Eurovision, but human rights are more important. I donât want entertainment or LGBT rights used by the state of Israel to âpinkwashâ its crimes against Palestinians. Weâre calling on people to boycott Eurovision in apartheid Israel next year.â
The protestors are responding to a call from Palestinian queers to boycott Barzilaiâs European tour, which said: âFollowing her Eurovision win for Israel, Barzilai has willingly taken on the role of cultural ambassador for Israeli apartheid, using pop music to keep Israelâs ongoing denial of Palestinian human rights out of mind.â
âAs part of this propaganda effort, Barzilai is supporting the Israeli governmentâs pinkwashing agenda, the cynical campaign to use LGBT rights to shield itself from criticism of its decades-old oppression of Palestinians.â
In 2005 Palestinian civil society organisations called for international solidarity through boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as a form of non-violent pressure on Israel until it ends its systematic denial of Palestinian human rights.
The cultural boycott targets institutions, not individuals, except where they act as a representative of the Israel state, as Barzilai does.