Photo Credit: 2018 Eurovision Song Contest / YouTube screen capture
"Toy" performed by Netta Barzilai

The Eurovision music competition — the longest running music competition in the world, watching by hundreds of millions of viewers around the globe — is slated to be held next year in Jerusalem after Israel’s contestant, Netta Barzilai, won this year’s competition with her entry, “Toy.”

But so far, at least three European nations — Iceland, Sweden and Ireland — have announced they will not send representatives to the competition next year in Jerusalem — in order to boycott Israel’s capital city.

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A petition of 25,000 signatures — out of its population of 350,000 — demanded Iceland ensure it would not compete in Jerusalem. The move by Iceland was a huge insult, since earlier this year Israel provided a major tourism grant to Iceland’s small, low-cost airline in order to give it a boost in establishing a new route between Tel Aviv and New York with a stop in its capital city.

Israelis have begun to travel to Iceland as a selected tourist destination, with IDF veterans adding it to their itinerary post-mandatory service as well. The response to Israel’s victory at this year’s Eurovision was a major slap in the face by Iceland to the Israeli people.

The response by Ireland, on the other hand, comes as no surprise; the Dublin Lord Mayor is Sinn Fein councilor Michaell Mac Donncha, a member of the political wing of the IRA, and someone active in Ireland Palestine Solidarity and the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

Ditto for Sweden, which has had a recent history of serious anti-Semitism and anti-Israel support for the Palestinian Authority.

It’s not yet clear how many other nations may use the supposedly non-political, musical bridge between cultural groups that Eurovision was supposed to represent since its creation in 1956, as a platform to express their hate for the Jewish State. We have only the FIFA World Cup events as a sample for consideration thus far.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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