MK Yousef Jabareen..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen has called for a boycott of next year’s Eurovision singing contest, which is slated to be held in Jerusalem.
“Yes we should boycott the Eurovision,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “We have to punish the rightwing government in Israel for its crimes against the Palestinian people and its denial of their rights.”
Jabareen said the boycott is also justified as a protest against the moving of the US Embassy to Jerusalem
, “in sharp contrast to the position of the Europeans and the rest of the world.” He said he will ask the European Union to consider joining his call.
Almost immediately, several other MKs slammed Jabareen’s statement.
Likud MK Amir Ohana said it is “so terrible for you when it is good for Israel, huh Yousef?”
Writing on Twitter, Ohana said: “You can continue to rage, to protest, to burn and to punish while the citizens of Israel will continue to blossom, to thrive, to celebrate and to break records – and, yes, to protect ourselves from murderous Arab aggression.”
Later in the day, Deputy Minister Michael Oren sent a request to the Knesset Ethics Committee to take disciplinary action against Jabareen.
“It is inconceivable that a member of Knesset, who receives a salary from the State of Israel and from the taxpayers, is calling for a boycott of the state he serves,” Oren wrote in the letter. “This is inappropriate, immoral and unethical.”
Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer slammed Jabareen for “once again acting maliciously against the State of Israel.”
Forer called on the head of the public broadcaster, the communications minister and the tourism minister to file a lawsuit against Jabareen “to finance the losses and injury to Israel” under the country’s anti-boycott law.
“The time has come to put an end to the wild incitement and assault of this group on the State of Israel and its symbols through violent demonstrations or through boycott actions designed to harm Israel,” he said.
Kulanu MK Rachel Azaria replied to Jabareen that his tweet “indicates the detachment between the leadership and the public.” The average citizen, she said, “would never cooperate with such a boycott.”
And it wasn’t just fellow MKs who criticized Jabareen’s call. Naomi Paiss, the communications director for the left-wing NGO New Israel Fund, also rejected the idea of a boycott of the singing competition.
“Come to Israel/Palestine, spend some extra time and see the good and the bad for yourself,” she wrote.
Likud MK Yehudah Glick, meanwhile, responded to Jabareen with humor.
“Oh, bummer,” he wrote on Twitter. “We were just about to ask the Joint List to organize the Eurovision to avoid having to desecrate Shabbat.”