City councillors support boycotting Eurovision 2019

Council continues stance of supporting Palestinian rights and follows positions adopted by Sligo and Derry councils

The call by Palestinian artists, broadcasters, journalists and civil society, for an international boycott of the Eurovision 2019, which takes place in Israel this weekend, has been supported by Galway city councillors.

At Monday's city council meeting, Independent councillor Colette Connolly, working in conjunction with the Knocknacarra Palestine Network, proposed a motion, calling on the Galway City Council, to recognise "Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands", the "continued building of illegal colonial settlements in violation of international law"; and "human rights abuses and war crimes" as highlighted by the recent UN Commission of Inquiry into killings in Gaza.

The motion also called on the council to recognise that "Israel's hosting of the Eurovision will be openly used for political and militaristic propaganda purposes", such as through free tickets to members of the Israeli Defence Force, the building of the 'Eurovision Village' on a forcibly depopulated Palestinian area of Jaffa; and plans by the Israeli authorities in illegal settlements to provide free accommodation to Eurovision fans.

The motion concluded by appealing for support for international boycott of Eurovision 2019 and also requesting RTÉ not to broadcast the competition "in view of Israel's continued violation of international law".

Sligo and Derry councils have also voted to support this boycott campaign, and the passing of the motion came as little surprise given Galway City Council has been supportive of the Palestinian cause in the past.

Responding to the vote, the Knocknacarra Palestine Network said it was "proud of the city council for taking such a stance". It also said the public has been supportive as well. "Hundreds of people have signed petitions at our weekly stalls and on-line calling on RTÉ not to participate in this year's song contest."

An alternative music event to the Eurovision, and in support of Palestine, takes place this Saturday from 8pm in Áras na nGael, Dominick Street. There will be performances from Sean Tyrrell, Tracy Bruen, Sharon Murphy, Queen Elvis, Stephen Sharpe, Gihad, Ray Weldon, and Fred Johnston.

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