In February Brian Eno — a producer and composer with no relevance to or resonance with Eurovision — called on the UK’s Eurovision singer Michael Rice to boycott the song contest in Tel Aviv. He said the musician should stay away “to ensure that Eurovision 2019 will be remembered as an occasion of principled protest, not another episode of cultural whitewashing.”

Of course Michael — and the BBC — are going. In fact, they’ll be joining 40 other countries and artists who are also going and despite the ongoing calls for a ban. The general thinking is that protest and demonstration are fine. But boycotting an event meant to unite people is something else entirely.

But the calls continue — and the latest is coming from Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters. In a lengthy Instagram post he explained that he’d written a “private letter” to Portugal’s Conan Osiris and, in his words, “the other 41 finalists” (shout out to MARUV who was apparently still on his hit list, despite pulling out). Apparently he reached out to Conan because the Portuguese singer had reportedly said he wasn’t sure if he would attend, and because his song was “quite deep”.

Roger is not known to have previously commented on Eurovision matters. After skimming his letter, he doesn’t particularly seem to be a fan of the song contest either.

At the time of writing this post Conan had not responded publicly.

View this post on Instagram

ARE YOU THE ONE? AN OPEN LETTER TO CONAN OSIRIS AND THE OTHER 41 FINALISTS FOR THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST. A few days ago, I wrote a private letter to a young talented Portuguese singer, Conan Osiris. He had just won the right to represent Portugal in the @eurovision song contest final, and was reported as saying he wasn’t sure if he would go to Tel Aviv or not. I listened to his song, and then got a translation of the lyrics it was about using his cell phone to ask questions about life and death and love. It was quite deep. I was told by friends that Conan Osiris might join the vast network of artists who are heeding the Palestinian call to boycott Eurovision in apartheid Tel Aviv. So I wrote and suggested to him that here he had an opportunity to speak up for life over death and also for human rights over human wrongs. How? By standing shoulder to shoulder, with his oppressed brothers and sisters in Palestine. He could show solidarity with the 189 un-armed protestors shot to death by Israel’s snipers in Gaza last year alone, including at least 35 children. But how could our brother Conan stand up? By refusing to join the cultural whitewash of what a recent UN report calls Israel’s war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, by refraining from providing his art to art-wash Israel’s systematic ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian communities to expand and maintain its apartheid state. Conan can refuse to perform in front of the segregated audience in Tel Aviv at the Eurovision song contest finals this coming May. In my letter I explained that Eurovision could be a tipping point, I appealed to Conan to stand up and be counted. Sadly, until now, there is no reply from Conan. There is news though, reliable sources tell me that young Conan has been personally approached and persuaded to go to the finals by an organization called Creative Community for Peace (CCfP). Ahhhh! For anyone who doesn’t know, CCfP has been exposed as an offshoot of the far-right Israeli government backed propaganda organizations “Stand With Us” and “The Israel Emergency Fund”. Read more at http://facebook.com/rogerwaters

A post shared by Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) on

 

We’re reprinting the open letter below in case the Instagram post above won’t load or goes missing.

ARE YOU THE ONE? AN OPEN LETTER TO CONAN OSIRIS AND THE OTHER 41 FINALISTS FOR THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST. 

“A few days ago, I wrote a private letter to a young talented Portuguese singer, Conan Osiris. He had just won the right to represent Portugal in the @eurovision song contest final, and was reported as saying he wasn’t sure if he would go to Tel Aviv or not. I listened to his song, and then got a translation of the lyrics it was about using his cell phone to ask questions about life and death and love. It was quite deep.”

“I was told by friends that Conan Osiris might join the vast network of artists who are heeding the Palestinian call to boycott Eurovision in apartheid Tel Aviv. So I wrote and suggested to him that here he had an opportunity to speak up for life over death and also for human rights over human wrongs. How? By standing shoulder to shoulder, with his oppressed brothers and sisters in Palestine. He could show solidarity with the 189 un-armed protestors shot to death by Israel’s snipers in Gaza last year alone, including at least 35 children.”

“But how could our brother Conan stand up? By refusing to join the cultural whitewash of what a recent UN report calls Israel’s war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, by refraining from providing his art to art-wash Israel’s systematic ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian communities to expand and maintain its apartheid state.”

“Conan can refuse to perform in front of the segregated audience in Tel Aviv at the Eurovision song contest finals this coming May. In my letter I explained that Eurovision could be a tipping point, I appealed to Conan to stand up and be counted. Sadly, until now, there is no reply from Conan.”

“There is news though, reliable sources tell me that young Conan has been personally approached and persuaded to go to the finals by an organization called Creative Community for Peace (CCfP).”

UPDATE (MARCH 18): After being contacted by Portuguese broadcaster SIC, Conan Osíris confirms the reception of Waters letter but refuses to further comment on its content or the Eurovision boycott request Roger made him. Portugal is set to perform on the 1st semi-final on May 14.

Comments on this post are now closed.

Total
127
Shares
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Pancake
Guest
Pancake

Oh blah blah blah he needs, does he have to be somewhere else?!?

Ana
Guest
Ana

This song should stay in the semi anyway. You have to dig so hard to understand what the heck this guy wants. A random viewer has 0 chance to get it.

Sal
Guest
Sal

Why would he go for Conan specifically and not Hatari who seem to be the most likely to refuse to go?? Anyway, it’s laughable the stuff Waters comes out with. “Segregated audience”, sorry what?? Does he seriously think Arabs aren’t allowed to buy tickets or to enter? It’s laughable how easily and quickly pro-palis invariably show their ignorance and miseducation on the subject. Also, Waters and Eno and others don’t care or know anything about the contest. If they did, they would have started a boycott campaign months ago before the countries even confirmed participation. These idiots are waiting until… Read more »

LawStudent
Guest
LawStudent

Anyone from Portugal has any additional information about what Conan thinks, and whether the scare around a Portuguese ban is grounded in truth?

Tiago S
Guest
Tiago S

No truth. After he won the NF, someone asked him in the press conference what he thought about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and the possibility of boycotting Eurovision. He said he couldn’t talk about it unless he had an informed opinion. A polite way of saying that he didn’t want or knew how to talk about international politics. After that, we kept seeing him talking about Eurovision as a fact.

Bah
Guest
Bah

A TV Channel (not RTP) contacted him to know what he thinks about the letter he received, and he said that he doesn’t want to talk about it

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Could he just shut up? I’m so tired of these people calling for boycott. Even coming from people who don’t watch the contest.

Albert
Guest
Albert

hahaha this guy is funny.
no job? start write stupid things on instagram

Israeli
Guest
Israeli

Last year probably really hurt his ass.. seeing Netta winning and inviting Eurovision to Jerusalem, I can just imagine his face lol!

Darren
Guest
Darren

I doubt he was watching it really. He doesn’t seem to have much actual knowledge of the contest.
Probably just saw an article somewhere about Israel hosting Eurovision and decided to be offended.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Regardless of anybody’s opinion on Israel, the facts are facts. Israel has been participating in Eurovision for years and nobody seems to mention anything until they win. Naturally if a country is participating in ESC, the Chance is there that whey could win and could end up hosting the event. People are only speaking up now, despite the fact that this is actually Israel’s 3rd time hosting? Let ESC unite these nations for 3 evenings in May, then let us all move on. This is actually coming from me, who disagrees with Netanyahu and the Israeli government on many things,… Read more »

Jannik
Guest
Jannik

Waters can boycott whatever he wants. We will enjoy this song contest exactly as all contests before Tel Aviv.

gili
Guest
gili

he is so obssesed only with israel like the world is perfect beside it…we all know
that he is a jew hater just as hitler…his day will come

Igor Patrick
Guest
Igor Patrick

Man, you’re being ridiculous. Criticizing Israeli domestic policies doesn’t mean you hate Jews. And before you make stupid assumptions, Waters’ dad was killed by Hitler nazi soldiers. You may not like his opinions, but don’t you EVER say again that Roger and Hitler were on the same side. That’s plain silly.

Heutoe Galore
Guest
Heutoe Galore

Who the hell is Roger Waters and why should we care what he thinks?

Jonas J
Guest
Jonas J

Completely with Brian Eno and Roger Waters on this one! It’s time Eurovision shows some teeth and stops hiding behind shallow logos like this year’s: “Dare to dream”

Tajikistan
Guest
Tajikistan

Don’t comment on a Eurovision website then if you don’t like it

Jonas J
Guest
Jonas J

Is Wiwibloggs one voice-dicatatorship-website? Wow! You’ve really come far!

Sal
Guest
Sal

If they start not allowing countries to host or participate because of the actions of governments, we won’t even have a song contest.

Riri
Guest
Riri

I know this comment misses the point of this article completely but why does he keep referring to him as “young artist” and “young conan” he’s like 30 not 16 lol

Anon
Guest
Anon

Roger is old as f*, even a 50 years old man is young for him

Trh
Guest
Trh

The same goes for you.

Trh
Guest
Trh

You missed a golden opportunity to be beautifully silent, instead of ugly ageist.

Pablo Nava
Member

There is SO many things I could say about this person, but Marie Kondo with you. Out with you, you don’t give joy.

Duncan
Guest

Can people stop abusing the word apartheid? It’s insulting to South Africans.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Why do these sorts of comments always seem to come from people who have never previously had anything to say about Eurovision? 🙁

Joe
Guest
Joe

Right?? Since when do he and Brian Eno care about Eurovision?

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Since it was planned to take place in Israel? These people have never have had an issue with the contest other than it being held in Tel Aviv. It’s not a mystery.

James
Guest
James

If someone so much as whispers the word “Israel,” Roger Waters will send a strongly worded letter to express his discontent. He doesn’t care about Eurovision: he just really hates Israel.

Bella
Guest
Bella

So you have to have previously commented on Eurovision to express your opinion? How exactly is this relevant?

Roger Waters is entitled to speak up about a public event like Eurovision if he wants to, just like anyone else. Full stop.

Moran
Guest
Moran

yes but roger just hate jews and israel, He’s bored in life

Sal
Guest
Sal

No, but it just makes his opinion even more irrelevant than it already is!
Still not as irrelevant as his opinion on Israel though.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

At least one Eurovision winner and one Eurovision host have supported calls for a boycott, actually. I don’t agree with a boycott, but I don’t think being a Eurovision fan is the thing that gives your opinion validity.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I don’t mind letters inviting peaceful boycotts. It’s the alternative ways of protesting at the ESC that bother me. What happened to SuRie at ESC last year frightened me – it was perhaps a timely warning.
Another thing: How does a music contest staged by a broadcaster have anything to do with killings? Is there evidence that the broadcasters have done this themselves? Would it really make a difference to the situation if the contest was not held? I dare someone to try to convincingly answer the questions, beyond the obvious “no, no and no”.

James
Guest
James

It’s much like when cynical Brits (not you though hehe) brianwashed by the commentaries of the late Terry Wogan often confuse the EBU as the EU (*cue faux EastEnders accent*”Bloody hell, why we in the Eurovision if Europe hates us? We’re going to leave the EU anyway so why bother?”), and I’ve personally encountered such over at the BBC Eurovision page on FB. No one seems to get the hint that the song contest is an international affair among usually cash-strapped broadcasters, not necessarily organized by their respective governments (who more often lend a hand but at times it’s the… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

It may be a “no” to your questions, but it’s not an “obvious” one. Have the broadcasters participated in killings? I don’t know. Military service is compulsory, so…perhaps. Has Netta? Or other Israeli representatives? I don’t know. When the music contest invites armed forces currently serving and expects the acts to perform for them…then does it become involved by association?

Disclaimer : I am not putting forth a verdict on these questions, simply thinking aloud…

Ana
Guest
Ana

Only 30% of the IDF are combats and obviously not all of them get to kill people during the service. The people that do get killed are mostly terrorists. So Israeli soldiers who actually killed innocent people are very few and obviously those were accidents.

Zana
Guest
Zana

Conan will go 😉

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Personal taste aside, I really want Conan to come to Israel and participate It will be a lose for all of us as his song is high quality! A literal masterpiece (though not my cup of tea) As for all the others here – thank you for supporting music and Eurovision! I am Israeli, and yea, not everything we do here is right but the situation is way more complex than it seem outside of Israel But before all, I’m a Eurovision fan, and as a Eurovision fan, I support music, art, love, peace and unity over politics Roger, go… Read more »

Envit
Guest
Envit

Conan is smart enough to refuse Roger’s suggestion. At all, if he would boycott Israel, he wouldn’t compete on the Portugal representative. Same, but opposite, are The Tuts. Since they didn’t want to go to Israel, they didn’t candidate on You Decide on the UK representative. But now I hope what Roger does will open people’s eyes and understand the meaning of what BDS want to do in real (And if you ask me, human rights are not the most important for them but hating Israel is.).

jack
Guest
jack

Who asked him? He must be very miserable

Bella
Guest
Bella

Who asked you?

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

who asked you, bella

Bella
Guest
Bella

Queens, calm down with the downvotes. I was just pointing out that I don’t see why Roger Waters’ opinion is met with “Who asked him?” when “jack” feels like he can share his without any problem.

People are free to express their opinion if they want to, whether you agree or not, and of course whether they’re ESC fans or not. “jack” or anyone else don’t get to decide who is allowed to speak.

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

Of course he is! Just listen to his music 😀

Chloe
Guest
Chloe

Hahahahahahha

Skiwalko
Guest

I think it’s better to promote your own distinct style in a show watched by millions of people and (hopefully) gain fame and repute, than to do nothing but profiting from one album released 40 years ago, huh?

Don
Guest
Don

Please, he still thinks this year has 42 participants and all of them are finalists, clearly he does not know anything about Eurovision other than the fact that it is hosted in Israel.

Just ignore this senile has-been.

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

It’s mr Waters’ right to call for a boycott of Eurovision in Israel. It’s the contestants’ right to either do something with it or don’t. I don’t know why people get so worked up about this, you’re not allowed to criticize an event held in a politically sensitive place?

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

He’s allowed to have his opinion and we are allowed to dislike him for it. I simply see this as unneccesary hate spreading against israel ( the country in the middle east that comes closest to western standards of freedom) and jews in general. I sometimes feel like we are in world war 2 again. Ask a random person on the street and they will say they are against israel. In the large Dutch cities you can’t walk freely as a jew anymore without being harassed. https://youtu.be/LzX4yXZ-Ekg In Amsterdam people have been beaten for speaking hebrew. It’s literally that bad… Read more »

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

Criticism of Israel isn’t criticism of Jews. That’s only how the extreme right (and Islamic fundamentalists) see it.

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

But sometimes it is used as an excuse to be anti-Semitic. There’s a very fine line to not shut down criticism with the anti-semitism card, and not use said criticism as an excuse to be anti-Semitic.

Sal
Guest
Sal

Antisemitism isn’t criticism of Israel

Candy
Guest
Candy

My problem is that he’s publicly dragging Conan into this and basically tries to bully him into taking his side.

Lol
Guest
Lol

The face behind a true antisemite. Enough said. Leave it to politics we are here to enjoy the music and have a little fun. Nothing else. Also. Every comment to this post has been upvoted by yours truly.

Nikos
Guest
Nikos

Roger Waters, past has been, he wants Eurovision boycotted like a group of other musicians etc, but I see no call for boycotts of sporting events including Israel, perhaps they just see Eurovision as an easy target.

Agostinho Spinola
Guest
Agostinho Spinola

Roger Waters is officially ‘conannized’ 🙂

Natasha patkish
Guest
Natasha patkish

Roger is an idiot! Enough with your hate!!

Michael
Guest
Michael

It’s one thing when people like Charlie McGettigan comment on the contest, being a former winner and all. But while Roger Waters is the singer for one of the greatest rock bands in the world, he really doesn’t have the authority to try push for contestants to withdraw from Eurovision, least of all a non-British singer. Knowing Pink Floyd’s attitude towards music in the 70s, he probably resented Eurovision and didn’t care about it until know, when he can play activist. It would be a better use for him to write a song about the conflict rather than butting into… Read more »

Lola
Guest
Lola

I’m shocked from all the singers he picks on Conan. is this his favourite song ? He could had picked the singer from his own country (UK) or Hatari who clearly want to bring politics into the contest.

Elsa
Guest
Elsa

Because Conan’s song is the best by one million miles

INAMOO
Guest
INAMOO

Literally who? Is this Roger Waters relevant?

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

No

Michael
Guest
Michael

He hasn’t made any music that people care about in 40 years.

Fred
Guest
Fred

He doesn’t have to.the music he made is eternal and it still listened by millions of kids (yeah kids!)as well as old codger like me!

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

Roger Waters – along with Bono – is the most pretensious, arrogant and big headed rock musician I can think out! When will they get over themselves? They are entertainerrs, not politicians!

Luis
Guest
Luis

Dinarte
?

@_etranid
4 minHá 4 minutos
Mais
Dear @rogerwaters , the next time you have a suggestion for Conan Osiris, asking him to quit from #Eurovision …don’t forget you support Nicolas Maduro who is KILLING thousands of Venezuelans, denying them the rights they have with people dying of hunger and murders!!

Alie
Guest
Alie

Wow

Luis
Guest
Luis

Let Conan Osiris in peace! He deserves to go to sing on Eurovision!

Albert
Guest
Albert

Roger, go to sleep.

esc stan
Guest
esc stan

CAN PEOPLE STOP TRYING TO BOYCOTT THE CONTEST!
This is getting ridiculous!

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

On the contrary, boycotting is the most peaceful form of protest there can be. The alternatives are much scarier. So by all means, protesters, boycott away.

Sal
Guest
Sal

I’m 100% sure most of these boycotters would employ those scarier means against Israel if they could.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Yeah, Conan, and while you’re at it, why don’t you single-handedly save us from global warming as well? Don’t you care about this earth, Conan, huh? It’s all in your hands.

Whisker
Guest
Whisker

Save us from wars too, children, women, minorities rights

Reina
Guest
Reina

Caring about Earth in their private jets, my heart is breaking, really 😛

Joe
Guest
Joe

Give it a rest, man. I hate when folks like him and Brian Eno start paying attention to artists and events like this that they don’t care for or know anything about just to push BDS. Plus, it’d be a bad look for the previous year’s host to pull out like that.

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

To hell those who are trying to make politics. So why last year we didn’t have a campaign to boycott and not vote Israel as Netta was already the huge favorite to win in march 2018.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Excellent point.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Roger who? It’s obvious the only thing this man knows about eurovision is that it’s held in Israel this year and he hates Israel. His hate campaign is like 3 months too late. And what is this “vast network of artists” he is talking about? It sounds more like a vast network of nobodies with a hypocriticle double agenda. They turn a blind eye to all the human rights problematics in palestinian areas while focussing on every single fart from israel… Also they never care about other opressed ethnical groups like Kurds who will face a hard time when they’ve… Read more »

Anon
Guest
Anon

He is a member from one of the greatest band ever. Pink floyd

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Hmm, too bad I won’t be able to enjoy a pink floyd song ever again now that i know what kind of a person is behind it…

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

Yeah, I’m sure you were a frequent listener to Pink Floyd…

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Nope, never will. But there will always be occasions when they show up like in the top 2000.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Great Gig in the Sky is pretty awesome though. I’ll give them that. (Look, I wish I could say all BDS-friendly artists are off my radar, but the idea of never listening to Peter Gabriel again bums me out)