Readers' Blog: Eurovision is a cultural, not political, event

It is with great disappointment that I read your editorial of Wednesday, March 13 (“Eurovision role must be reviewed. Participation is an endorsement”), which said that if Prime Minister Netanyahu remains in power after Israel’s election in April then Ireland should boycott the Eurovision in Israel in May.

Your editorial says this in protest over what Prime Minister Netanyahu said several days ago about Israel being the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was merely restating that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, which is a fact; he was not implying that Israel’s large, free Arab Christian and Muslim minority are second-class citizens or that they should be. They, quite rightly, have equality under the law with Jews as Israeli citizens.

Entirely false and inappropriate equations were also made in the editorial between Israel and some other countries and jurisdictions. All eight million of Israel’s citizens, Jewish and Arab, Christian and Muslim, Druze and Circassians, are equal under the law and are treated equally by the State.

They are elected to the Knesset or parliament and make a contribution to Israel’s vibrant and diverse society and culture.

The Eurovision is a cultural event that celebrates music, entertainment, diversity and friendship between nations. Ireland and Israel are two small, successful, multicultural democracies who both have a great record winning the Eurovision. It would be tragic to spoil the festival by a boycott.

Boycotting is a political endeavour, and those who are campaigning for Ireland to boycott the Eurovision are extremists who think that anything involving Israel is ‘political’ because they deny Israel’s legitimacy.

Dr Derek O’Flynn

Press Officer

Ambassador of Israel

More on this topic

Protest calling for Eurovision boycott to take place at RTÉ today

Watch: Ireland's entry for this year's Eurovision

Readers' Blog: 'RTÉ - supporting the arts' not accurate as long as they participate in Israel's Eurovision

Ukraine blocks Eurovision nominee in row over Russian gigs

More in this Section

Mixed reaction in EU as May goes cap in hand for extension

We must embrace our Muslim community as part of who we are

Readers' Blog: Right-wing populist rhetoric fuels Islamophobia

Chaotic Brexit - Comedy that has no one laughing


Lifestyle

Everything you need to know about fashion movement #TheYeehawAgenda

Jack B. Yeats work looks to past and future

Ready for the big final? We go behind the scenes on Dancing with Stars

Skinny jeans: The trend that refuses to die

More From The Irish Examiner