×

As Eurovision Heads to Israel, Entertainment Industry Heavies Urge Support

The international song competition is scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv May 14 through 18.

As Tel Aviv gears up for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, taking place in the coastal Israeli city May 14 through 18, the entertainment industry non-profit Creative Community For Peace (CCFP) has released a statement in support of the internationally-attended and globally-televised event, which promotes musical acts from all over the world.

The statement, signed by over 100 entertainment executives and personalities — among them: “The Talk” host Sharon Osborne, KISS’ Gene Simmons, music attorney Donald S. Passman, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande managers Scooter Braun and Allison Kaye, Propagate Content chief Ben Silverman and WME co-founder and head of television Rick Rosen — comes in response to efforts by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which includes vocal supporters like Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame.

(Pictured below: Protesters outside London’s BBC demonstrate against the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest being held in Israel.)

Protesters outside BBC Broadcasting House demonstrate against the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest being held in Israel following Netta Barzilai's win at the 2018 edition.Protest against the Eurovision Song Contest being held in Israel, London, UK - 08 Feb 2019
CREDIT: Penelope Barritt/REX/Shutterstoc

“This year, approximately 200 million people will watch, visit and take part in the Eurovision song contest, celebrating music and the diversity of our different cultures,” said Ari Ingel, Director of CCFP. “The members of the entertainment industry who have signed this statement, along with the thousands of individuals who have endorsed its message, all believe in building bridges through music and the arts as a means to achieving greater understanding and peace in the region.”

Nearly 15,000 people from around the world signed a similar statement on Change.org, asserting that a cultural boycott of Eurovision does not work to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Additionally, the BBC released its own statement supporting the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel this year for its embodiment of the “values of friendship, inclusion, tolerance, and diversity.”

Israel won last year’s Eurovision contest held in Lisbon, Portugal, with the song “Toy” by Netta Barzilai. The quirky electronic tune, which features English lyrics and a scat-like vocal, claimed the country’s fourth victory in as many decades. Barzilai, a singer who won the TV show “Hakokhav Haba,” Israel’s version of “American Idol” format, completed her mandatory military service in the navy band, called Nahal.

It was Israel’s fourth time winning Eurovision after previous victories in 1978 and 1979, and in 1998 with trans performer Dana International.

Popular on Variety

More Politics

  • Cardi BSwisher Sweets Spark Award, Arrivals,

    Cardi B Talks Police Brutality, Student Debt With Bernie Sanders in Nail Salon

    Rapper Cardi B hosted Senator Bernie Sanders for a video interview at The TEN nail bar in Detroit, an appropriate venue for a musician known to sport some serious claws. Cardi and the 2020 presidential candidate discussed everything from reinstating and expanding the DACA program to fixing student debt by placing a “modest” speculation tax [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    Jeffrey Epstein Autopsy Reportedly Finds Broken Bones in Neck

    Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy results suggest that the the disgraced multimillionaire sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, according to The Washington Post. The report says one of the bones broken was the hyoid bone, which is near the Adam’s apple in men. Although hyoid breaks have been known to occur during a hanging, experts told [...]

  • Asap Rocky1 Oak : Gotha Takeover

    A$AP Rocky: A Swedish Take on the Case That Riveted the Country

    With everyone from President Donald Trump to the Rev. Al Sharpton weighing in on rapper A$AP Rocky’s detention in Stockholm after his involvement in a street brawl there, this peculiar saga seemed tailor-made for summer’s silly season. But in Sweden it has also sparked debate about some serious issues – such as the nature of [...]

  • United States Attorney for the Southern

    Jeffrey Epstein Autopsy Results 'Pending Further Information' Following Examination

    Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy results are “pending further information,” according to a statement from the New York City Medical Examiner’s office. “Today, a medical examiner performed the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein. The ME’s determination is pending further information at this time,” chief medical examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said in the statement. Sampson also confirmed the presence [...]

  • Equinox fitness protest

    Protesters Chant 'Trump Has No Soul' at West Hollywood Equinox

    A small protest erupted outside of Equinox Fitness in West Hollywood Friday afternoon following the outcry over a big-dollar fundraising event for President Trump organized by billionaire Stephen Ross, chairman of Equinox owner Related Companies. Approximately 20 people gathered at the Sunset Boulevard protest coordinated by Gonzalez Garcia and his friend Adam Bass. Garcia and [...]

  • Donald Trump Hollywood Racism

    Donald Trump Blasts Hollywood for 'Racist' Films

    UPDATED: Donald Trump blasted Hollywood as “racist” outside the White House on Friday morning, adding that the industry is doing a “disservice” to the country. His remarks come amid controversy over “The Hunt,” the Blumhouse film about elite vacationers hunting down blue-collar whites for sport. The film has generated backlash on Fox News and other [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content