Madonna feels heat amid BDS calls to cancel performance in Israel

Anti- Israel activists flooded social media with calls for the pop star to boycott Eurovision in May because it will be held in Tel Aviv.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

BDS activists flooded social media to pressure Madonna into cancelling her performance at Eurovision19 that will take place next month in Tel Aviv.

Extremist groups such as The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and Code Pink are using such buzzwords as “apartheid” and “oppression” to convince the pop star to rescind her decision.

Code Pink wrote on Instagram that the pop star’s performance in Israel would “serve to artwash the crimes of Apartheid Israel.”

Another BDS supporter wrote that by taking part in the competition, “you are participating in the normalization of the murder of Palestinians and Zionist occupation.”

PACBI posted a statement quoted by Australia’s SBS News charging, “Israel’s fanatic, far-right government is cynically exploiting your performance, and those of the contestants, to mask its deepening oppression of Palestinians.”  It also claimed that Eurovision was taking place in “apartheid Tel Aviv, on the ruins of the ethnically-cleansed village of al-Shaykh Muwannis.”

Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 on a huge plot of empty land on the Mediterranean shore.

The 60-year-old American star has already performed in Israel three times, in 1993, 2009 and 2012. She is also known for her study at the Kabbala Centre in Los Angeles, where she was tutored the esoteric Jewish text by a rabbi.

In a 2015 interview she said that she follows many Jewish practices, including holding a bar mitzvah for her son. “These rituals are connected to what I describe as the Tree of Life consciousness and have more to do with the idea of being an Israelite, not Jewish,” she said.

The over $1 million cost of her performance, with dozens of backup dancers, is being covered by Israeli-Canadian philanthropist Sylvan Adams. The goal, he said, was “to try to add some glitz to the event” and strengthen “Israel’s positive branding in the world.”

Anti-Israel groups have been working hard to convince European contestants and other performers not to come ever since singer Netta Barzilai won last year’s contest, which is the reason this year’s competition is in Israel.

So far, however, dozens of countries have confirmed their participation, and Madonna is set to take the stage on the eve of the Finals to perform two songs, one of her classics and another from an upcoming album.