Friday, 23 August, 2019

Organisers reveal Madonna's Eurovision performance is not yet confirmed

Israel's Moovit has launched a new version of its app to provide Eurovision Song Festival tourists visiting Israel with information in English about buses and their routes Madonna urged to boycott Eurovision contest in Israel
Julia Gonzales | 15 May, 2019, 16:25

It is the third time that Israel has hosted the competition but the first time it has taken place in Tel Aviv, where it will be broadcast around the world from the Expo Tel Aviv International Convention Center.

For more than a half-century, Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories has resulted in systematic human rights violations against people living there.

"We are in a situation now that is a bit odd", said Eurovision's executive supervisor, Jon Ola Sand, at a news conference in Tel Aviv.

Many boycott calls have targeted Madonna, who arrived in Israel on Tuesday, ahead of the American pop star's guest performance at the Eurovision final.

Madonna, who has studied Kabbalah with the Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles, included Israel in her 2009 and 2012 world tours, and in 2004 took on the Hebrew name "Esther", although she has not formally converted to Judaism.

Her appearance is being bankrolled by Israeli-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams but Eurovision organisers said at a press conference on Tuesday they have not secured a performance contract with the artist.

Oddie said that the band's boycott of Eurovision was in response to "a call from Palestinian civil society".

However, while fans of the Medellin singer had thought it was a done deal, Eurovision's executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand has thrown things into doubt.

Madonna has recently released a series of singles in the lead up to Madame X, her 14th album, out June 14.

China to increase tariffs on certain USA products
All three major US indexes were in the black, recovering some ground from their worst one-day percentage losses in months. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 207.06 points at 25,532.05, a day after losing 617.38 points.

She says she prays for "a new path toward peace".

A total of 17 worldwide acts took to the stage on Tuesday night but only 10 moved on to the grand final following a 50-50 vote split between the public and an global jury.

The other semi-finalists represent Montenegro, Finland, Poland, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Belgium, Georgia, Australia, Iceland, Estonia, Portugal, Greece and San Marino.

They received the night's loudest cheer, combining dance music, heavy rock and pop in front of an global audience at the Expo Tel Aviv.

"We asked Palestine - "do you want us to come?' 'No - do not come" and that's what you do, you respect the people who are being oppressed", said guitarist Joff Oddie.

Israeli contestant Kobi Marimi walks on the Orange Carpet, during the opening event of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, at Habima Square in Tel Aviv on May 12, 2019.

"After its theft of Palestinian land and culture, Israel is now trying to appropriate a symbol of our nonviolent resistance", Alia Malak of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which oversees the BDS movement's academic and cultural campaigns, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Commenting on the row, Madonna said she was a supporter of all human rights.

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