Dublin (UNA-OIC) - The lord mayor of Dublin has called for Ireland to boycott next year's Eurovision song contest in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The horrific ordeal of the Palestinian people needs to be highlighted, Micheal Mac Donncha stated. There needs to be solidarity just as there was with the people of South Africa with the apartheid regime.
The Dublin mayor also called on Ireland to boycott Eurovision came a day after he opened the Palestinian Freedom Conference, organized by Palestine solidarity groups in Ireland.
At the conference, attended by hundreds, Mac Donncha reiterated his and Dublin City Council's full support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights.
Last month Israel announced that it had banned Mac Donncha from entering any territory it controls, but the mayor got into the occupied West Bank anyway as Israeli authorities had misspelled his name on the banning order.
Mac Donncha criticized the Irish government for failing to take any action to hold Israel accountable, contrasting this with the alacrity with which it expelled a Russian diplomat over British claims Russia had been involved in the poisoning of a former double agent.
Mac Donncha told the conference that he soon looked forward to visiting a free and liberated Palestine. At least two other elected officials have also called for a boycott of Eurovision.
Israel won the right to host the high-profile annual competition after Netta Barzilai won this year's event on Saturday. The Palestinian ordeal was on shocking display on Monday as Israeli snipers once again opened fire on civilians massed along the boundaries of the besieged Gaza Strip for what has been billed as the climax of the Great March of Return.
By afternoon in Gaza, the health ministry reported that the rapidly rising death toll had exceeded 40 Palestinians. Hundreds had been injured with live ammunition and tear gas.
This makes Monday the bloodiest single day since the rallies began on 30 March calling for an end to Israel's lethal siege of Gaza and the right of refugees two-thirds of Gaza's two million residents to return to homes from which they were expelled and barred from returning by Israel because they are not Jewish.
In previous weeks, Israel had killed a total of more than 50 Palestinians and injured thousands more as part of a deliberate shoot-to-kill-and-maim policy that the International Criminal Court prosecutor has warned could lead to war crimes trials for Israeli leaders.
Monday's rallies were timed to mark the annual commemoration of the Nakba, the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
The ongoing Nakba is why I participate in the Great Return March and support the BDS [boycott, divestment, and sanctions] movement, Abdulrahman Abunahel, an organizer with the Palestinian BDS National Committee in Gaza explained. I simply want the right to live in the land where I am from, in freedom, in peace, and with dignity. I was born a refugee; I do not want to die as one.
The massacre in Gaza also coincided with the planned ceremony to open the US embassy in Jerusalem.
Israel wins Eurovision so let's make BDS more successful than ever in 2019, Lynn Boylan, a member of the European Parliament and a colleague of Mac Donnacha in the Sinn Fein party tweeted.
Nessa Childers, an independent MEP, retweeted and agreed with that call.
Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, view the victory of Barzilai's heavily promoted entry in this year's Eurovision as a major coup for their international propaganda.
The European Union was also quick to celebrate the propaganda win for Israel.
Meanwhile, in Jerusalem the Israeli government has been preparing for another PR extravaganza, with the official opening of the US embassy � overwhelmingly opposed by world opinion.
But Donald Trump has insisted on making a move, apparently to satisfy the demands of Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire and financier of anti-Palestinian causes who was the US president's biggest campaign donor.
Adelson recently announced another $30 million to help Trump's Republican Party hold onto the US House in November's legislative elections.
Palestinians, meanwhile, are urging that the US embassy move is seen as an opportunity to increase international solidarity with their struggle.
The Trump administration's decision to open the US embassy in Jerusalem as Palestinians commemorate 70 painful years of displacement signals that it's giving Israel freer reign than ever to try to push us out of our homeland, Omar Barghouti, a founder of the BDS movement, said. The Trump-Netanyahu far-right alliance is wreaking havoc in Palestine and, by extension, the world.
Noting Israel's decades-long practice of demolishing Palestinian homes in Jerusalem and forcing Palestinians out of the city, Barghouti added that the Trump administration is now not just an enabler, but also a full partner in Israel's accelerating ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Jerusalem and beyond.
This growing international alliance of progressive communities working to defeat the hateful agenda of the far-right is what gives me hope that we can, and shall, eventually end the ongoing Nakba, end the ongoing destruction of Palestinian life and create a better world for all.
Source: International Islamic News Agency