Palestinian Women Artists Ask Madonna to Cancel Eurovision

May 13, 2019 IMEU
Palestinian Women Artists Ask Madonna to Cancel Eurovision

In the below letter to Madonna, over 50 Palestinian women artists came together to ask her to “support us now in our quest for freedom, justice, and equality --  and the right to thrive as artists.”


Dear Madonna,

We are Palestinian women artists writing to you from occupied Palestine and the global diaspora with the hope that you will honor our call and not perform at Eurovision in Tel Aviv. The far-right Israeli government and its supporters would love nothing more than to use your iconic artistic achievements and global philanthropy to obscure its crimes against humanity, particularly now as it ushers in the most extremist, racist government in its 71-year history.

For decades, you have spoken your truth to power and have supported marginalized communities around the world, particularly women. We are asking you to support us now in our quest for freedom, justice, and equality --  and the right to thrive as artists. Skipping Eurovision would be yet another bold act of conscience, Madonna, resonating the world over and bringing us one step closer to freedom.

Palestinians, like all people, deserve basic human rights, to feel safe in our homes and on our land, and to pursue our dreams - as equal human beings. Without freedom and rights, we cannot build our lives, let alone express ourselves and reach our full potential as artists, as you so clearly have. Too many of us are caged-in without the ability to travel and share our work with audiences, locally or internationally.  

Israel controls nearly every aspect of Palestinian life, from whether we can get to work or school to whether we can live with our spouses or see our families. Israel takes our homes, our land, and our life-sustaining water. If we fall ill, we have to get permission from Israel’s military authorities to get to the hospital, permission which is all too often denied. Our children are snatched from our homes in the middle of the night, thrown in jail and subjected to abuse without warning and without reason. 500-700 Palestinian children are detained and prosecuted in Israeli military courts every single year. Can you imagine having to live this way?

We are denied the same rights as Jewish Israelis simply because we are a different religion - This is apartheid. Yet, with the rise of authoritarianism, as embodied in the Trump-Netanyahu alliance, we are finding hope in the many voices across the globe, rising in support of our rights and our freedom.

The boycott picket line worked in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and it was a vital part of the US civil rights movement. We believe it will help us achieve our rights, too.  

When the walls come crashing down and freedom and justice finally ring, we invite you to come and share your music with all of us on this land.

Sincerely,

  1. Leila Abdelrazaq, graphic novelist
  2. Lama Abu Faris, dancer
  3. Mira Abu Hilal, singer
  4. Youmna Abu Hilal, singer
  5. Walaa Abu Watfa, painter
  6. Shahd Abusalama, dancer
  7. Ibtisam Ahmad, singer
  8. Manar Al Azza    , dancer
  9. Lamees Amer, dancer    
  10. Manal Awad, actor
  11. Nahed Awwad, filmmaker
  12. Hazar Azzeh, circus performer
  13. Salma Ataya, dancer
  14. Noora Baker, dancer, choreographer
  15. Lama Barghouti, dancer
  16. Nai Barghouti, singer, composer
  17. Rana Bishara, artist
  18. Farah Chamma, poet
  19. Cherien Dabis, filmmaker
  20. Maysa Daw, rapper, singer
  21. Alaa Sameer Elkhateeb, artist
  22. Jouline Faqes, dancer
  23. Wafa Ghnaim, tatreez artist, author
  24. Yasmin Hadi, dancer
  25. Samia Halaby, artist, writer
  26. Hena Haj Hasan, singer
  27. Dima Hamdan, filmmaker
  28. Zeina Hmouz, dancer
  29. Riham Isaac, actor, director
  30. Annemarie Jacir, filmmaker, poet
  31. Salwa Jaradat, singer
  32. Nivin Jayusi, singer, musician
  33. Majdoleen Karakra, dancer
  34. Maya Khaldi, singer
  35. Muna Khalidi, filmmaker
  36. Hannah Khalil, playwright
  37. Sali Kharobi, dancer
  38. Tala Khouri, musician
  39. Dareen Mahajneh, dancer
  40. Carol Mansour, filmmaker
  41. Malak Mattar, painter
  42. Jenin Merri, dancer
  43. Yasmeen Mjalli, fashion designer
  44. Ashtar Muallem, circus performer, dancer
  45. Haneen Nazzal, graphic and animation artist
  46. Mai Odeh, filmmaker, producer
  47. Iman Oun, actor, director
  48. Nayrouz Qarmout, writer
  49. Anmar Rafeedie, dancer
  50. Lure Sadeq, actor, musician, dancer
  51. Farah Saleh, dancer, choreographer
  52. Leila Sansour, filmmaker
  53. Raneem Sarhan, dancer
  54. Niveen Sawi, singer
  55. Yasmin Sameer Shaladah, actor
  56. Dareen Tatour, poet
  57. Ghada Terawi, filmmaker
  58. Renad Uri, dancer