05:56 GMT +319 October 2019
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    Former member of Pink Floyd, British singer and songwriter Roger Waters performs during his concert of the Us+Them tour in Rome's Circus Maximus, Saturday, July 14, 2018

    Roger Waters Slams Eurovision as 'Bulls**t', Lauds Pro-Palestinian Alternative

    © AP Photo / Gregorio Borgia
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    There is typically an element of controversy around the annual Eurovision Song Contest, with this year’s focus being on the host country itself, amid calls for a cultural boycott of Israel over its policies towards Palestinians.

    As Europe’s annual musical celebration culminated in triumph for the Netherlands on Saturday night, with political rancour failing to dampen the mood of this year’s Eurovision final in Tel Aviv, Pink Floyd bassist and songwriter Roger Waters hit Twitter to slam Eurovision and applaud an alternative project – Globalvision.

    In his tweet, Waters referred to Eurovision as “bulls**t” in what he described as “apartheid” Tel Aviv, of which he said he disapproved. However, he said, what he did approve of was Globalvision, the alternative event.

    “My heart swells with pride for each and every one of you,”

    “It’s fantastic what you’re doing,” said Waters.

    Waters also expressed his love and admiration for “brothers and sisters all over the world who are standing shoulder to shoulder in support of human rights in general, and, specifically, at the time of the 71st anniversary of Nakba, brothers and sisters in Palestine”.

    On the eve of Eurovision, a number of artists including Roger Waters, who has been vocal in his support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (also known as BDS) a Palestinian-led campaign promoting various forms of boycott against Israel, encouraged peers not to perform in Israel.

    Earlier, speaking to The Guardian, Waters said some of his fellow musicians who recently performed in Israel had said they were doing it to build bridges and further the cause of peace.

    “To perform in Israel,” claimed Waters, “is a lucrative gig but to do so serves to normalise the occupation, the apartheid, the ethnic cleansing, the incarceration of children, the slaughter of unarmed protesters … all that bad stuff.”

    Roger Waters called on everyone involved in what he saw as Eurovision’s betrayal of joint humanity to focus on their capacity to empathise with their Palestinian brothers and sisters.

    Waters expressed vocal support for the alternative project – Globalvision.

    READ MORE: Palestinians Preparing to Launch an Alternative to Eurovision

    Palestinians and foreign activists who support their struggle for independence had drummed up a musical performance as an alternative to the Israel-hosted Eurovision contest, with organisers of the event, dubbed Globalvision, conducting live shows in several venues worldwide and broadcasting them on the Internet simultaneously with Saturday’s Eurovision final.

    Globalvision events were to be hosted by the Palestinian city of Ramallah, in Haifa, Israel which is home to many Arabs, as well as in London and Dublin.

    The celebrated Pink Floyd bassist and songwriter has been one of the most vocal proponents of the "boycott, divest, sanction" strategy being used by opponents of the government of Israel.

    Specifically, he's spearheaded a movement of artists who refuse to play in the country until a peaceful solution is found.

    While he's made it clear that his opposition to the country's military activity has nothing to do with Israelis or Jews, he has taken enormous heat for it.

    The 2019 Eurovision final took place Sunday, with contestants from countries around Europe (plus Australia) taking to the stage in Tel Aviv, Israel.

    Europe's most popular song contest is traditionally held in the country that won the previous year's competition.

    Dutch contestant Duncan Laurence with his song "Arcade” claimed victory this year.


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    Eurovision 2019, Palestinian peace process, guitarist, Palestinians, Eurovision 2019, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Palestine, Israel, United States, Netherlands
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