National Chairperson of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign Fatin Al Tamimi outside RTÉ Studios in Donnybrook, Dublin 4 in March, calling for RTÉ to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest which is taking place in Tel Aviv
I usually find Mark Paul a precise and interesting writer. However, his language in his opinion piece is unusually slipshod.
He describes the call for a boycott of the Israeli-hosted Eurovision song contest as “indiscriminate”, “blunt” and “ill-defined”.
It is none of those things: it is a peaceful, calibrated and proportionate attempt to exert leverage over the Israeli government so that it might change its egregious policies towards Palestinians.
Far from a failure to “communicate fairly” with Israelis, the boycott call is sending a serious and constructive message – that so long as its policies are persisted with, the Israeli government will not be allowed reap the propaganda and other benefits it very consciously seeks to accrue from its sponsorship of cultural events like the Eurovision.
For this mild and measured boycott call to be equated with anti-Semitism is, among other things, an insult to the many Jews (including Israelis) who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign in defence of Palestinian rights.