The organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest are defending their use of an official logo which appears to represent all of historic Palestine – including the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip – as part of Israel.
In a letter to the Palestinian Authority foreign ministry on Wednesday, the European Broadcasting Union states that there was nothing intentional about the logo that depicts a stylized outline of historic Palestine – or “Greater Israel” as Zionists label it – including occupied territory that Israel is moving to annex in flagrant violation of international law.
“This year’s logo, created by host broadcaster Kan, comprises three triangles which, when united, shine together to create a form complementing the slogan, ‘Dare to Dream,’” the European Broadcasting Union claims in its letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Electronic Intifada.
“It takes inspiration from the stage design which also involves triangles on and above the stage.”
Read the letter below.
Wiping Palestinians off the map
PACBI, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, has accused Eurovision of trying to “wipe Palestinians off the map with its logo.”
Yet the European Broadcasting Union’s dismissive response to the PA foreign ministry is accompanied by a similarly nonchalant reply regarding concerns over other promotional materials that depict occupied territories as part of Israel.
The PA foreign ministry had written to the European Broadcasting Union charging that “by accepting the occupation authorities’ contest propaganda material, which wipes off the State of Palestine from the map, the EBU is implicitly recognizing and supporting Israel’s illegal policies, which systematically violate international and human rights laws, including the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.”
The promotional materials include video “postcards” from Eurovision put out by Israeli state broadcaster Kan.
The video mashup of the postcards includes an overhead shot of East Jerusalem, and of Syria’s Golan Heights, both occupied and illegally annexed by Israel.
It also shows Israeli contestant Kobi Marimi dancing in occupied East Jerusalem with a view of the Dome of the Rock in the background.
The European Broadcasting Union concedes in its letter that “one postcard includes drone shots” over Jerusalem, which clearly extend to the eastern part of the city, but asserts that “there is no intent with this material at politicizing a strictly cultural entertainment event.”
This ignores how Israel has always used “culture” and “archaeology” as part of its overtly political efforts to legitimize its occupation and annexation of Palestinian land, especially in Jerusalem.
The European Broadcasting Union acknowledges that the “rules of the contest state that ‘no messages promoting any political cause shall be allowed in the shows and within any official Eurovision Song Contest premises (i.e. at the venue, during the opening ceremony, the Eurovision village, the press center, etc.).”
Yet the so-called Eurovision village built on top of the ruins of the ethnically cleansed Jaffa neighborhood of al-Manshiyya has been a venue for open political propaganda by Israeli leaders and European Union governments.
Eurovision village used to promote political agenda
On Wednesday, EU embassies hosted a “Europe Day” celebration there with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, using the Eurovision village to promote their agenda of ever-closer EU-Israel ties at the expense of Palestinians.
EU ambassador Emanuele Giaufret used the supposedly non-political venue to declare that “The EU will remain an important partner for Israel.” This means in effect that Giaufret and the European Union will continue to disregard Palestinian rights.
The Israeli president spoke about Israeli cooperation with the EU on “cyber-security” and the EU’s Horizon 2020 science program which funds Israel’s war industry.
As people danced the night away at an EU-sponsored rave, a few miles away two million Palestinians remained caged in the Gaza Strip, with dozens shot by Israeli snipers that very afternoon – Nakba Day.