News | International
23 May 2019 1:11
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > International

    Eurovision 2019: Gazavision song contest a stark contrast to glitz in Israel

    A series of protest events, one of them dubbed Gazavision, offer a stark contrast — comparing life inside the Gaza blockade to the glittery euro-centric stage just 70 kilometres away in Tel Aviv.

    Not far from the kitschy glitz of Eurovision, Palestinian musicians are holding rival song contests on the rubble-strewn streets of Gaza.

    A series of protest events, one of them dubbed Gazavision, offer a stark contrast — comparing life inside the Gaza blockade to the glittery euro-centric stage just 70 kilometres away in Tel Aviv.

    Since it was announced Israel would host this year's competition, Palestinians and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Australia (BDS Australia) movement have called on musicians and broadcasters to shun the event.

    Madonna faced calls to withdraw from her Eurovision performance, as did Australia's entrant, Kate Miller-Heidke.

    "I'm pretty sure all the artists have been experiencing the same pressures, the same kind of twitter extremism," she told SBS News in Tel Aviv.

    "Everyone feels conflicted by it, everyone feels under pressure."

    Gazavision was set up by the Palestinian youth group We Are Not Numbers as an alternative to celebrate emerging musical talent in Gaza.

    The event showcases six Palestinian artists and asks people to cast their vote for their favourite in a show of defiance against what the group characterises as Israel's "campaign to whitewash and distract attention from its war crimes against Palestinians".

    One of the artists, 24-year-old Ghada Shoman, explained how her performances had been live-streamed into Jerusalem in the past.

    "My family is originally from Jerusalem, a home I've never been to," she told We Are Not Numbers.

    "There was sad irony in it … My voice made it home before my feet could."

    Another competing event, Globalvision, will be broadcast online at the same time as Eurovision, using the motto "Dare to Dream Together".

    On Tuesday, Palestinian musicians performed at the site of Israeli airstrikes.

    Hilmi Dabbagh, a Palestinian refugee and co-founder of BDS Australia, described the rival performances as an effort "to raise awareness about the justice of our cause".

    In the case of Gazavision, he said, the point was to "look at the asymmetry" of the competing events.

    "They are singing on rubble in contrast to the fancy modern complex [in Tel Aviv]," he said.

    He told the ABC he had strong feelings about maintaining Palestinian culture.

    "The theft is happening on all fronts and that's definitely painful, no-one can take that lightly," he said.

    "We are going to resist it, we are going to move forward with our Palestinian culture."

    Song contest controversy

    The song contest comes at a sensitive time for the region, with Israel celebrating its independence and Palestinians remembering "Nabka" — or the "catastrophe" that expelled and displaced them in 1948.

    This time last year 60 people were killed by Israeli forces, and in the past fortnight fighting in Gaza escalated, with the Israeli Prime Minister vowing "massive strikes" against Hamas.

    Jeremy Leibler, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, told the ABC attempts to boycott or disrupt Eurovision had been "wholly unsuccessful".

    "Any boycott of cultural events is completely unproductive and will do nothing to help either side resolve the conflict," he said.

    He said tens of thousands of tourists would experience the "real Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East" and the "free and open culture of Tel Aviv to all people of all races or gender".

    Bruce Knobloch, campaign organiser at BDS Australia, said the movement was not anti-Semitic but that it called on western governments to stop supporting Israel's activities and urged consumers and investors to boycott corporations "that benefit from the occupation".

    "We are not anti-Jewish," he said.

    "There are a lot of Jewish people who are part of the BDS movement. They see it isn't about religion, it's about equal human rights."

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

     Other International News
     22 May: Prabowo Subianto's loss in Indonesia's election sparks deadly protests in Jakarta
     22 May: Johnny Depp claims ex-wife Amber Heard 'painted on' bruises, court documents show
     22 May: Donald Trump hosts Pacific leaders in historic White House meeting amid US-China tensions
     22 May: Clive Palmer's ad deluge shows Google and Facebook need to step up transparency, experts say
     21 May: Christchurch attacks accused Brenton Tarrant facing new charges
     21 May: Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6 recap: A fitting finale, just don't mention the water bottle
     21 May: Bank regulator APRA loosens home loan rules, 'will help some borrowers access a mortgage'
     Top Stories

    St. Louis marching into Stanley Cup ice hockey Final for the first time in nearly 50 years More...

    The telecommunications industry has been named the worst for customer satisfaction More...

     Today's News

    Rugby League:
    Penrith coach Ivan Cleary believes it's "going to be sweet" but he admits deep issues are engulfing the NRL club 21:57

    Jessica Alba "stopped eating" so much so she wouldn't "preyed upon" 21:34

    Law and Order:
    A Kiwi man faces jail time after killing a dog in Australia's Perth 21:17

    Elle Fanning fainted at the Cannes Film Festival this week 21:04

    Celine Dion was horrified when her baby son appeared on TV - before she'd even held him 20:34

    Frankie Bridge struggles with her body image despite being "proud" of giving birth 20:04

    Courtney Stodden has hidden her depression behind a mask in the past 19:34

    Law and Order:
    The search for a tramper overdue in the Ashburton Lakes will wrap up about 8.30 tonight 19:27

    Amy Schumer has returned to stand up comedy two weeks after giving birth 19:04

    The telecommunications industry has been named the worst for customer satisfaction 18:57

     News Search

    Power Search

    © 2019 New Zealand City Ltd