Imri Ziv will be representing Israel in Eurovision 2017 after winning the reality show ‘The Next Star’.
(photo credit: RONEN AKERMAN)
Imri Ziv, Israel’s representative in this week’s 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, may “feel alive” as his entry song goes, but a group of Israelis affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is definitely not feeling the love.
The small but vocal group aired its grievances in a Facebook group called “Eurovision boycott of Israel – ZERO points to the song of Israeli Apartheid.
“We are a group of Israeli citizens. This week Europeans (and also Australians) will get a chance to tell Israel what we think of the oppression and dispossession of the Palestinians, and to express solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. In the Eurovision Song Contest, we should give Zero Points to the Song of Israeli Apartheid!” demands the group on its Facebook page.
Addressing all 43 participating countries in the song contest, the group tells potential voters that they “would be able to strike a big blow for justice and human dignity at small cost, without leaving your living room.
“If you care about such things as justice, freedom, human rights or simple human decency, you should take part in the Eurovision televoting process. In general, you should rate the various songs as you see fit – but take care to give the Israeli song A BIG FAT ZERO.”
Perhaps admitting that the Israeli entry is quite catchy, the group says that “even if there will appear in Kiev an exquisitely beautiful Israeli song, it will be a beauty covering up a loathsome ugliness – the ugliness of oppression, dispossession and killing.”
Ziv, 25, a former contestant on The Voice Israel
and winner of Hakokhav Haba
(The Next Star), will perform “I Feel Alive” on Thursday during the second night of semifinals in Kiev. (The final is on Saturday night.) Much to the BDS movement’s dismay, Ziv participated in singing “Because of the Spirit” for an IDF promotional video in 2012.
Israel has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1973. The country has won three times – in 1978, 1979 and 1998.
However, questions have been raised whether this will be Israel’s last year
in the contest due to the recent shutdown of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, a member of the European Broadcasting Union.