Mike Murphy, the former RTÉ broadcaster, will be the keynote speaker at the 'Boycott Eurovision 2019 in Israel Gig’, an event calling on Ireland to withdraw from participating in the contest in Tel Aviv in May.
The meeting, organised by the Knocknacarra Palestine Network, will be held in Richardson’s meeting room, Eyre Square, on Tuesday March 26 at 7.30pm. Mr Murphy will outline why he believes Ireland should boycott this year's Eurovision in Israel. Other speakers will be a Palestinian refugee, and a number of eyewitnesses to the situation facing Palestinians on a day to day basis.
Boycotting the Eurovision is part of a wider attempt to use the method of boycott to force Israel to change its treatment of the Palestinians. Since 2004, Palestinian civil society, inspired by the struggle which brought down the apartheid regeime in South Africa, has called for the cultural boycott of Israel.
"Holding the Eurovision in Israel ‘whitewashes’ Israel’s ongoing contravention of international laws, and its human rights abuses against the Palestinian people," a spokesperson for the KPN said. "Over a decade ago Israel launched its ‘Brand Israel’ programme. It has poured millions into promoting musicians and artists to portray a liberal face of Israel, purposely to counteract reports of its occupation of Palestine."
KPN has been running weekly stalls, collecting signatures petitioning RTÉ to boycott the Eurovision. However, the State broadcaster will be sending an Irish entrant to Tel Aviv. The NUJ has said it will support action taken by any employee involved in the TV production who withdraws his/her labour through conscientious objection.
KPN is also launching its 'Support Palestine - Alternative Music Event' that will be held in Galway, with local singers, musicians, bands, and comedians are volunteering to perform at the gig.