The Left Party of Sweden did it. So have members of the Liberal Democrats and Labour Party in the UK, and Sinn Fein in Ireland. And now The Australian Greens have raised questions about a potential boycott of Eurovision 2019 in Israel following the recent violence in Gaza.

As Australia’s TV Tonight reports, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon raised the issue with SBS CEO Michael Ebeid at a Senate Estimates hearing last week.

“Recent events along the Gaza border have shown that the Israeli army engage in lethal military actions, on days that are seen as ‘significant’ or when Palestinian-protests are planned,” she said.

“This means Eurovision‘s activities could impact on who lives and who dies. Will SBS consider these factors when it considers whether to participate in next year’s contest or if it’s held in 2020?”

SBS CEO Michael Ebeid brushed the question aside, saying that the spirit of Eurovision — formed in the aftermath of World War II to bring Europe together — “transcends” the issues she put forward.

“The whole point of Eurovision is to forget politics, forget all of that and unite communities and countries together in the spirit of song, in the spirit of celebration, in the spirit of culture,” he said.

He also reminded the Senator of Israel’s previous hosting gigs — in 1979 and 1999.

“Israel has won before, Israel has hosted before and it in the spirit of unity and bringing people together and cultures together I can’t imagine that we would not televise Eurovision next year.”

No serious boycott threat

As we previously reported, more than 25,000 people in Iceland have signed a petition calling for broadcaster RUV to pull out of the contest in light of “human rights abuses of Israel against the Palestinian people.”

That follows a call from the Lord Mayor of Dublin asking Ireland’s RTE to stay home as well.

But Ebeid doesn’t think these and other calls for boycotts have legs.

“I’ve certainly not seen any serious boycott,” he said. “I know some quarters have talked about it but as I say the European Broadcasting Union is all about uniting people and communities not about the dividing them and and Eurovision Song Contest is something that transcends politics.”

Photo: Andres Putting (EBU)

Read more Australia Eurovision news

56 Comments
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Sad
Sad
2 years ago

I think it’s better to hold Eurovision in 2019 in Israel. Eurovision is not a political contest, because of the problems of the country, to cancel it, War – to war, and songs – to songs.

Europe
Europe
2 years ago

yes…boycott esc2019, very good Australia

GermanQR
GermanQR
2 years ago

Why do people keep spouting such hate-filled nonsense. Israel are very welcome to host the next Eurovision song contest, as we should keep politics out of it. Why do some people complain about Eurovision being political and then make a political argument for a boycott? As for Australia, they are also very welcome, VERY, VERY welcome. Europeans are very strange indeed, we have spent several centuries seeding our culture in other places and then complain about it. Haters should shut up already, this not about politics

Mike
Mike
2 years ago

I have yet to see a “Green Party” in any Western country that is an actual environmentalist political party.
They are all far-left parties disguised as “green”. They all favor unlimited mass immigration, which affects public services and requires more building of homes, schools, hospitals, which consumes a lot more resources and negatively affects the environment. They are hypocrites, using the “environment” subject as a distraction from their far-left politics.

Jordan
Jordan
2 years ago

I hope EBU baby Australia participation in 2018 was last participation in Eurovision song contest. Circle is made, Australia and Jessica was guest in semi final 2014, Australia participate as guest 2015 in 60 th Aniversary of Eurovision, and in 2018 Jessica was participated as singer for Australia.

LeGrand
LeGrand
2 years ago

HYPOCRISY! HATE! STUPIDITY!

Fatima
Fatima
2 years ago

Regardless of the politics, I don’t think a boycott will make much difference. If anything the contest will be improved by having fewer countries. Twenty-six in the final and 20 in semi-finals are way too many for a single programme.

Mike
Mike
2 years ago

I think they sould just leave. I liked Australia only the first 2 years cause they were bringing quality and modern songs. Since 2017 they’ve been acting like a typical eurovision country, especially this year by sending such a generic song. If they are going to continue sending these kind of songs they should just go. I mean clearly the voters don’t want them anymore….Also they are late to the party, they should keep their mouth shut on boycotting Israel

BEFAN
BEFAN
2 years ago

Just another “BE THE ASS” meaningless propaganda. It was Jerusalem 1979, it was Jerusalem 1999 (where Iceland got it’s best ever result – Jerusalem IS(!) Iceland’s lucky charm 🙂 ) and it will be Jerusalem 2019 !! Let’s look forward to first Kazakhstan participation and invite UAE for interval act 🙂

Darren
Darren
2 years ago
Reply to  BEFAN

Did Iceland not get their best result in 2009, in Moscow, when they came second?

Maybe I’m wrong but I always thought that.

Alon I srael
Alon I srael
2 years ago
Reply to  Darren

yu are right, Darren…. but the first 2nd place was in 1999

Jonas
Jonas
2 years ago
Reply to  Darren

They came second both in 1999 and in 2009, but they were closer to victory points-wise with Selma, so I regard that as their best ever result. Yohanna was a very distant second to Alexander Rybak. Perhaps they will come second again next year.

Erasmus
Erasmus
2 years ago
Reply to  BEFAN

I want Kazakhstan as well! I still don’t get why they don’t particpate they really want to, they have been broadcasting it for like 10 years and they actually have some European land, like I really don’t get it.

MM77
MM77
2 years ago
Reply to  Erasmus

I don t want to see more countries in Eurovision like Kazahstan, Kosovo… With Kazahastan in Eurovision we wili have every year 24 points to Russia, 20 points to Azerbaijan…..

O O
O O
2 years ago
Reply to  BEFAN

VERY ture, forgot all about that, best Iceland song and result (2) was in Jerusalem 1999

LeGrand
LeGrand
2 years ago
Reply to  BEFAN

Iceland 1999 have titled their (best) song so far “All out of luck…”… no wonder they’ve lost to Sweden 🙂

Darren
Darren
2 years ago

Australia will be there next year. They are besties with the EBU and Sweden. They also want to make a success out of their Eurovision participation and aspire to become full time members. Ireland, Sweden and United Kingdom will be there too. The Irish public have gained interest in ESC after Ryan’s success, Sweden love ESC, its one of their biggest shows every year while U.K. also love it, in more of a jokey kind of way, but still…. Out of all these supposed boycotts if Jerusalem becomes the host city, the only one that I can see gaining any… Read more »

Jo.
Jo.
2 years ago
Reply to  Darren

A reasonable comment. Thank you.

O O
O O
2 years ago
Reply to  Darren

Sweden WON in Jerusalem in 1999 Da….

Adam
Adam
2 years ago

Everyone who encourage boycott just promote more hate, ignorance and “no talk” situation. Lets remeber ESC is all about being together and celebrate diversity and Israel is probably the most diverse country in ESC.

George
George
2 years ago

Pfffft the greens party has no political power in Australia. They couldn’t control such a decision.

EscFan
EscFan
2 years ago

#NoAustraliaEurovision

Boycott Jerusalem 2019
Boycott Jerusalem 2019
2 years ago

Iggy Azalea for Eurovision 2019, please.

Escphbelgium
Escphbelgium
2 years ago

Iggy Azalea is from Universal, though.

Jonas
Jonas
2 years ago
Reply to  Escphbelgium

It’s ridiculous that one record company picks and chooses SBS’s act. It should be an open competition, not a promotional slot for one label.

Dan
Dan
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonas

Does the record company foot the bill as well? My impression was that SBS was a small TV channel with limited resources.

EscAU
EscAU
2 years ago

ugh the party who refuses to acknowledge the national holiday of christmas calling it a ‘non denominational public holiday’ but happily posts all over facebook celebrating hannukah and eid and ramadan >:( lolol they only have 2 people in parliament of 150 they don’t have a voice don’t give them one on this blog

HBau
HBau
2 years ago
Reply to  EscAU

They have, to be fair, 9 of the 76 Senators (including Lee Rhiannon). They are not the party I or most Australians support, but they have a voice and this is how they’ve chosen to use it.

Nothing will come of it, of course.

Nir
Nir
2 years ago

Bla bla bla
See you in Jerusalem.
So ignorant people doesn’t understand Israel is for peace they making only terror we make beautiful songs!
See the truth already

LeGrand
LeGrand
2 years ago
Reply to  Nir

I’m Israeli and I don’t think that Jerusalem should host Eurovision.

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
2 years ago

Do countries really want to participate in ESC?
Do they remember the true meaning of it?
I’m sick of all this drama and it hasn’t even been a month since ESC 2018, we’ve still got a whole year ahead of us…

Aero
Aero
2 years ago

Why do small far left political parties get so much air time. When an actual governing party suggests a boycott I’ll pay attention.

Maybe Wiwi needs more Clicks, the site upgrade won’t pay for itself you know.

Jo.
Jo.
2 years ago

Australia withdrawing because of Israel?…nonsense!

esc1234
esc1234
2 years ago

Lets hope they wont send again a cheesy act. But i think they should flop again next year so we dont have a european country last

Jo.
Jo.
2 years ago
Reply to  esc1234

I don’t mind them in the contest, but I really hope they bring something different next year. I always liked Jessica’s old discography, because she blends pop, dance, and R&B very well. “We got love” tho…. For the 2nd consecutive year, their entry flopped in their own charts.

Paul
Paul
2 years ago

What would a boycott actually achieve ?

Joshua
Joshua
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Especially considering that Australia is INVITED to Eurovision… refusing an invite wouldn’t cause any troubles (and it’s kinda rude…)

MrBrightside
MrBrightside
2 years ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZl9W0NOe8c Look! Kasia Mos and Norma John made a song together!

Erasmus
Erasmus
2 years ago
Reply to  MrBrightside

And it’s so GOOD!

Navi
Navi
2 years ago

I like Netta, but I would support if my country Bulgaria decides to boycott 2019 as well. Violence shouldn’t be tolerated!

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
2 years ago
Reply to  Navi

Eurovision has nothing to do with this situation.
Violence exists everywhere, so are we going to boycott every year?
Come to Israel, see that the army only attacks those who try to cross the border or hurt us (Hammas even uses children for that! Like, what the hell?!?!).
Only yesterday, they shot about 80 rockets on Israel, anything about that?
Boycotting Eurovision will achieve nothing just as much as choosing sides in this stupid war.

John
John
2 years ago

William: Please stop giving these fringe parties/voices oxygen. Any attempts to boycott Israel by any country will be met with what legitimate calls of Anti-Semitism and pro-terrorist sympathies. For example, Iceland had absolutely no issues taking part in Istanbul (during the Cypriot occupation & Kurdish cultural suppression); Baku (during ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh); Kyiv (during the resurrection of pro-Nazi movements in Western Ukraine), etc. Why don’t we keep politics out as much as possible?

JackTheBoy
JackTheBoy
2 years ago
Reply to  John

Now wait a second.. why would Iceland have an issue with ESC in Baku?? Azeris are the ones who faced ethnic cleansing in Nagorno Karabakh by Armenia. There is no azeri left in that territory right now. Why would someone boycott Azerbaijan for that? lol

John
John
2 years ago
Reply to  JackTheBoy

I agree with you about the Armenian/Azeri conflict. My broader point was that there are territorial/religious conflicts happening all over the place and should not influence countries participation or there will be constant drama every year (see: Ukraine/Russia). In this particular year European countries should take their cues from Albania (majority Sunni) and Azerbaijan (majority Shia). If they participate in Israel, then the silly virtue-signaling left-wing activists in places like Iceland and Ireland should just let it go and move on to problems in their own countries.

ipanema
ipanema
2 years ago
Reply to  John

I think you are absolutely lost about Azerbaijan. Karabah since ancient times was a land of Azerbaijan (Khan of Karabah) , Armenia has invaded Karabah and made ethnic cleanics there occupying 20% of Azerbaijan’s land including 9 cities of Azerbaijan outside of Karabah. Azerbaijan is a victim in this conflict, not an occupant.

Alex
Alex
2 years ago

Nicosia 2019. There done. I’m sick of the word “boycott” in ESC 2019.

Joshua
Joshua
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex

If Cyprus had won, they would have done everything in their power not to host it in Nicosia… and for obvious reasons.

sevzch
sevzch
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex

You can say Nicosia 2019 all you want…. we all know that in the end it will be in israel with most of the countries coming maybe iceland will withdrew because the huge amount of icelandic people who dont care about esc and signed that pettition

Maldric
Maldric
2 years ago

theres a lot of confusion and pre-boycott….
i wonder how the hell will be Esc 2019..

Maldric
Maldric
2 years ago
Reply to  Maldric

Sweden, Ireland, Uk, Iceland….in those countries there are movements to boycott ESC2019…I think deny the evidences its not good…

Alon I srael
Alon I srael
2 years ago
Reply to  Maldric

Sweden is already an arab country! no wonder

NoGeoblocks
NoGeoblocks
2 years ago

Any one else wants to make headlines? Please don’t give these people the stage.
There are so many other things in the world to boycott before Eurovision 2019.

Wiwi, please stop with these non-stories, you’re just making these ridiculous people more reason to go about it. Unless that’s what you actually want… (which won’t surprise me, after seeing your reaction to Netta’s win)

Nancy G
Nancy G
2 years ago
Reply to  NoGeoblocks

Lol. Pretty sure you don’t read as this entire article shoots down the boycotts and has an executive saying the boycotts are a joke. Read before you type…

NoGeoblocks
NoGeoblocks
2 years ago
Reply to  Nancy G

LOL, Pretty sure you didn’t read my comment as well. This just stresses the fact that this is a non story, just some political party trying to make headlines, without any grounds.

And Wiwi gives them the stage… What for? Enough.

Nancy G
Nancy G
2 years ago
Reply to  NoGeoblocks

Pretty sure the story is sourced to an Australian TV web site…so it’s already a headline Down Under.

NoGeoblocks
NoGeoblocks
2 years ago
Reply to  Nancy G

No reason to let these clowns go global then… Right?