Skip to main content

Crazy for Eurovision? Madonna faces backlash over performance in Israel

Social media users call for 'queen of pop' to cancel her performance at singing contest over Israeli human rights abuses
Madonna is scheduled to appear at the Eurovision song contest in Israel next month, as campaigners urge the star to boycott the event (AFP)

Madonna's planned performance in Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest next month is facing criticism with people taking to social media to call for a boycott of the event.

The hashtag #BoycottEurovision2019 was used to highlight human rights abuses and the plight of Palestinians who are living under Israeli occupation.

Madonna's performance is expected to cost around $1m (£765,000), which will reportedly be covered by Israeli-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams, who has previously funded large-scale events and concerts as a way to support Israel and battle boycott movements. 

Adams told the Jerusalem Post that the concert is likely to improve Israel’s image across the world.

“I believe that the performance of Madonna at the Eurovision – accompanied by dozens of professional backup dancers – will make a significant contribution to the success of the event and to the strengthening of Israel’s positive branding in the world," he said.

The performance is likely to be highly controversial as other influential figures and singers have already called for a boycott of the event. 

Singers Lana Del Rey and Lorde both cancelled planned tours of Israel in 2018 after heeding calls from BDS campaigners to not perform in the country in solidarity with Palestinians.

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters were among dozens of figures who urged the BBC earlier this year to oppose Israel's hosting of the contest.

The performance would be Madonna's fourth in Israel. Her last concert in the country was in 2012.

Social media users have asked Madonna to stand up for the rights of Palestinians and cancel her performance.