Now Reading
Irish-Israeli group claim LGBTI activists are bullying Eurovision contestant

Irish-Israeli group claim LGBTI activists are bullying Eurovision contestant

Sarah McTernan eurovision bullied lgbti groups

The Ireland Israel Alliance (IIA) has accused LGBTI activists of bullying the country’s Eurovision contestant.

The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign wrote an open letter to Sarah McTernan on 17 April, who is representing Ireland, asking her to boycott the 2019 song contest held in Tel Aviv. They claim Israel ‘uses art and culture to whitewash its crimes’ against the Palestinian people.

Over 5000 people have signed the letter so far.

However, the IIA has written a letter in response. They have accused the anti-Eurovision campaigners of ignoring the LGBTI rights progress in Israel. In particular, IIA targeted signatories David Norris and Aibhe Smith, who are renowned for their LGBTI human rights campaigns.

The letter says: ‘We believe that in publicly targeting Sarah, and in attempting to pressurize her into not participating, the letters’ signatories have devauled the battle fought by the gay community, and others in Israel, for recognition of their rights and for respect for difference, not to mention the progress made so far and battles which remain to be fought.’

IIA adds: ‘Instead of celebrating the courage of those who fought against prejudice and violence to ensure an annual Pride Event in Jerusalem, the signatories chose to ignore it.’

‘An open letter is not bullying’

A spokesperson for the campaign to boycott Eurovision, Zoe Lawlor, denied they are bullying Sarah McTernan.

She told the Independent Ireland: ‘All we are doing is asking Sarah to be aware of the situation in Gaza and the atrocities happening to the Palestinian people on a daily basis.

‘It’s totally up to her how she’s going to respond, but sending an open letter doesn’t constitute as bullying.

‘We congratulate how far this young singer has got, and it seems like she has a very promising career ahead of her.’

See also

Australia’s Eurovision entry reveals performers are ‘keen’ to meet with Palestinians

Every country in Eurovision 2019, ranked by LGBTI equality

Madonna confirmed to perform two songs at Eurovision Song Contest 2019