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LGBTI groups call for boycott of Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv

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These LGBTI groups are calling for boycotting the most gay-friendly country in the region in the cause of…what? Do they support the sharia death penalty for homosexual activity? Despite the homophobia, oppression and slaughter, LGBT leadership in the West stand staunchly with their executioners. They stand with adherents to this viciously homophobic ideology that calls for their slaughter. When I created ads highlighting Muslim oppression of gays under Islamic law and ran them in San Francisco, the gay capital of America, gay leaders and organizations attacked me. Even after the bloody massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

“LGBTI groups call for Eurovision boycott,” by Riri Hylton, Green Left, February 15, 2019 (thanks to Mark):

Campaigners for gay, lesbian and transgender rights have urged a boycott of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv in May.

More than 60 LGBTI groups from around the world have joined a new call to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians. In a statement, the groups accuse Israel of “shamelessly using the Eurovision competition” to distract from war crimes.

The organisation alQaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society contends that Israel is engaged in pinkwashing — the cynical use of LGBTI rights by states and corporations to downplay their negative activities.

Haneen Maikey, director of alQaws, said that “Israel is using Eurovision as pop culture diplomacy” and is seeking to “exploit” the competition’s LGBTI fans.

Maikey alleged that Israel was “feigning support for gay rights while it incarcerates millions of indigenous Palestinians in bantustans”.

The statement supported by LGBTI groups argues that “resonances” can be found between the police and military violence encountered by Palestinians and that inflicted on gay and lesbian activists. A 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York and the riots which ensued are widely viewed as key events in the history of the LGBTI liberation movement.

Despite projecting a progressive image, Israel has denied equal rights between heterosexual and same-sex couples. Israel is also known to have placed LGBTI Palestinians under surveillance and attempted to blackmail them into informing on fellow Palestinians.

Israel’s Netta Barzilai won the 2018 Eurovision in Lisbon with the supposed female empowerment pop song “Toy”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with a direct phone call to the winner that evening, during which he told Barzilai that she was “the best ambassador” for the country.

The following morning, Netanyahu described the win as a “gift”. Two days after her win, Barzilai gave a performance in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square.

Hours earlier, Israeli soldiers carried out a massacre during the Great March of Return in Gaza. It was the deadliest day since Israel’s 50-day assault on Gaza in 2014.

Barzilai was part of the Israeli navy in 2014 and reportedly performed a song for colleagues who took part in the attack on Gaza.

Since then, she has appeared at numerous Israeli-sponsored events, including Tel Aviv Pride.

LGBTI campaigners are seeking a boycott of the 2019 Tel Aviv Pride, as well as the Eurovision.

“Tel Aviv Pride is not like other pride marches,” Maikey said. “It is an exercise in pinkwashing, closely linked to the Israeli government and part of its official, well-oiled Brand Israel propaganda strategy to turn gay travelers into a cast of extras in its staged fictional show of tolerance.”

Barzilai gave an interview to the Associated Press year, in which she said “Israel is amazing” but “we have such bad PR in the world”.

In an attempt to shore up support for Eurovision, Barzilai undertook a tour in November. She was met with protests and low turnouts.

Her first stop was Vienna, where she played to an audience of only 100, while a scheduled show in Zurich was canceled due to a reported lack of interest.

Similarly, only a small number came to see her in Berlin, where she appeared at a venue which can accommodate an audience of 500.

A particularly large protest was held in London, when Barzilai played the gay club Heaven.

Human rights supporters have stepped up their activity as Eurovision — to take place in May — draws near. Last month, demonstrators in Paris stormed the stage at an event to draw up a shortlist for who should represent France at Eurovision.

The campaign to boycott this year’s Eurovision has attracted much support in Ireland — which has won the contest a record seven times….

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