In protest against the Eurovision competition kicking off in Israel on Tuesday, Palestinian, Israeli and international activists have organized three events, including "Gaza Message" on Tuesday, "Globalvision" and "Gazavision" on Saturday, taking place after Ramadan.
The "Gaza Message" event took place on Tuesday on the remains of a building destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in the recent round of fighting, Safa
, a Palestinian news agency, reported.
The event consisted of a concert held by Gazan youth, including several songs and a speech by the mother of Rouzan al-Najjar, a Palestinian medic who was killed during clashes on the Gaza border in 2018. The IDF claimed that Al-Najjar was used as a human shield
, while the Palestinians claim she was killed by Israeli sniper fire while working as a medic.
The goal of "Gaza Message" is to show that Gaza is "singing and loving peace and rejects any whitewashing of the Israeli occupation and its crimes, through art and music," Safa
The concert was trying to "send a message to the whole world that this occupier [Israel] is not civilized and not humane," Gazan Minister of Culture Anwar Al-Barawi told Safa
"We love life and we want people to live in safety and security; the occupier's occupation of land and human freedoms destroys institutions and residential facilities and forces people to live with fatigue and hardship."
On Saturday, Gazavision, a project organized by the We Are Not Numbers
organization, will close voting for the music competition that they've set up in protest against Eurovision.
Gazavision is an online project which is protesting Israel "shamelessly using [Eurovision] as part of its Brand Israel campaign to whitewash and distract attention from its war crimes against Palestinians."
The project showcases six talented singers in Gaza "who are not allowed to travel to such international competitions."
Visitors to the We Are Not Numbers
site can listen to the contestants' songs and vote on them by May 18. The winner will be recognized in a ceremony at a public concert after Ramadan.
On Saturday night, as the Eurovision final takes place, Globalvision will air online.
Globalvision was organized by activists who claim that Eurovision is being used "to cover up some terrible realities, such as ongoing military and cultural repression of Palestinian communities, and the continuous erasure of Palestinian land."
Globalvision will run under the motto "Dare to Dream Together."
The organizers are presenting Globalvision as a "night of inclusion and diversity, celebrating Palestinian music and culture." The activists involved are encouraging Israeli and international Eurovision viewers to say "no to art-washing, no to military occupation, and yes to the right of all refugees to return. Yes to human rights and dignity for all."
The event will include Palestinian music and comedy and will premiere material from "internationally renowned artists."
Artists who are confirmed to be participating in the event are British artist Brian Eno, Palestinian soprano Dima Bawab, queer Palestinian pop artist Bashar Murad and Israeli dream pop artist Ohal Grietzer.
The event will be broadcast online on Facebook, Youtube and watchglobalvision.com on Saturday, May 18 at 10 p.m. Israel time. It will run for the full four hours that the Eurovision final runs.Yami Roth and Eric Sumner contributed to this report.