Israel vigilant against BDS activists seeking to disrupt Eurovision

BDS activists will not be allowed into Israel during the upcoming Eurovision song contest. 

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

As per Israel’s policy since 2017, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists will be barred from entry to the Jewish state for this month’s Eurovision competition.

“This is going to be a huge party in which thousands of people will participate but we will remain extremely vigilant in order to make sure that no one comes here in order to disturb and destroy,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said in an interview with The Guardian.

The Eurovision Song Contest, set to take place from May 14 to 18 in Tel Aviv, has been a focal point for BDS activists since Netta Barzilai won the competition last year. Protesters have been calling on international artists to refrain from attending the event in order to create commotion and promote Palestinian causes.

Many protestors have begun planning ways to interrupt Eurovision. Specifically, representatives from Iceland want to protest Israel’s policies on-stage.

“We don’t want to prohibit the entry to the State of Israel for people,” Mr. Nahshon said. “But on the other hand, if we know for certain that we will be facing people who are anti-Israel activists and whose sole purpose is to disturb the event then we will use the legal instruments that we have regarding the entry to Israel.”

Anti-Israel activists have used underhanded methods to try and disrupt the Eurovision contest.

Last week, Israel revealed that BDS activists had created a fake online Twitter campaign using hundreds of bot accounts under the hashtag #BoycottEurovision2019.

Meanwhile, delegations have already begun arriving in Israel in preparation for the popular singing event.