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Israeli Cultural Events Marred by “BDS” Boycott

Israel and the Palestinian organization that urges all events in Israel be boycotted by would-be participants – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – are again sparring over whether recent lists of “won’t attends” are a mere drop in the bucket that fails to affect the event or whether cancellation lists constitute a success and black-eye for the Jewish state. At issue this time around is the Meteor music festival and the Eurovision song contest. The latter, little known to Americans but a major event in Europe and elsewhere, is scheduled to hold its internationally televised 2019 proceedings in Israel by virtue of the Israeli entry winning the 2018 contest. But the BDSers have sprung into action, and have already produced a letter signed by more than 140 artists urging their colleagues to boycott Eurovision “if it is hosted by Israel while it continues its grave, decades-old violations of Palestinian human rights.” The Meteor music festival just concluded in the northern part of the country, with about 20-acts opting out of the first major rock festival hosted by Israel. While events that rely on personalities are often fertile ground for the BDS organization, Israeli officials point to a growing list of major international corporations such as Intel, Google and Apple that are coming to Israel or increasing their stake in there by way of minimizing the BDS effect.

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