Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 July 2019

Eurovision 2019: Palestinians demand Israel stop using Jerusalem in contest ‘propaganda’

Israel's public broadcaster featured a shot of occupied East Jerusalem's Haram Al Sharif compound

Palestinian worshipers pray outside of the Dome of the Rock at the Al Aqsa mosque compound, during the first Friday prayers of the Muslims' Holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem, 10 May 2019. EPA
Palestinian worshipers pray outside of the Dome of the Rock at the Al Aqsa mosque compound, during the first Friday prayers of the Muslims' Holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem, 10 May 2019. EPA

The Palestinians have demanded that footage of Jerusalem be cut from broadcasts in Israel advertising the upcoming Eurovision 2019 song contest in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, decrying it as "propaganda".

Israel's public broadcaster Kan has been airing an advert for the competition with footage of the Haram Al Sharif compound in occupied East Jerusalem. It is the third-holiest site for Muslims in the world.

The Palestinians seek occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of any future state. Israel captured the territory in the 1967 Arab-Israel War and has since developed a network of Jewish outposts deemed illegal by the majority of the international community. It also maintains a military occupied over the West Bank, with a settlement enterprise deemed illegal by much of the world.

The advert also refers to Jerusalem as "our beloved capital", despite Palestinians claiming the eastern sector as the capital of their future state. Israel lays claim to the entirety of the city and Palestinians say it is making moves to edge Arabs out of the city.

The PA's foreign ministry said Israel was using the song competition to "entrench its colonial occupation by effectively normalising the global acceptance of its unlawful conduct."

"The promotional material published in the context of the Eurovision contest and approved by EBU, is unacceptable," the ministry said, in reference to the European Broadcasting Union.

Writing on Facebook, the ministry said it had contacted the EBU about what it termed Israeli "propaganda material" which "wipes... the State of Palestine from the map".

Kan's promotional video was also criticised by some Israelis for its portrayal of stereotypes, prompting the broadcaster to issue a statement stressing its take was satirical.

Eurovision will take place from Tuesday to Saturday in Tel Aviv, picked to host the event after Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won last year's contest.

Efforts by activists calling for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel over its occupation of Palestinian territories have failed to move the competition.

Updated: May 12, 2019 04:25 PM

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