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Madonna Defends Decision to Perform at Eurovision in Israel

15 May 2019

A group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals have criticised Madonna's defence of her upcoming performance in Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest.

"Inspired by conscientious artists who shunned Sun City in apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, Palestinian artists and cultural organizations have called for nonviolent pressure in the form of boycotts on Israel until it complies with its obligations under global law".

Meanwhile, the State of Israel has launched its own PR offensive against the worldwide Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Concerns had been raised that the contest could be disrupted by a surge in cross-border violence between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.

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"As security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning, United States citizens are strongly encouraged to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness", the statement added.

"The EBU can confirm that no final decisions have been made, or agreements signed, regarding a performance by Madonna at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019", a Eurovision spokesperson told CNN.

Madonna and her entourage of 135 people, including the rapper KoVu, 40 backing singers, 25 dancers and a team of technicians, were expected to fly in on Wednesday, according to reports citing the Israeli-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams, said by the press to be footing a large part of the bill to bring Madonna to perform in Israel.

"We have an artist who would like to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, and who we would love to welcome on that stage. I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this bad cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace", the statement continued.

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Australian contestant Kate Miller-Heidke is through to the finals.

United Kingdom residents can not vote in this round and should save their votes for the 18-act second semi-final on Thursday and the grand final on Saturday, where Rice will perform during the second half. By comparison, Palestinian protesters threw rocks, used slingshots and "Molotov cocktails", damaging property in nearby Israeli communities.

Madonna has recently released a series of singles in the lead up to Madame X, her 14th album, out June 14. Read the full statement below. The venue has prompted calls for a boycott by pro-Palestinian activists who want companies, performers and governments to disengage from Israel.

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Madonna Defends Decision to Perform at Eurovision in Israel