Madonna has been urged to pull out of performing at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv with a “Papa Don’t Preach” parody that focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The parody—which is called “Madonna Don’t Go”—is performed by Palestinian artist and activist Shahd Abusalama and was released yesterday (May 13) by London Palestine Action.
In the video, Abusalama asks Madonna to cancel her planned performance as a part of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
Abusalama sings: “Madonna I know you’re going to be annoyed, cause Eurovision’s keeping you employed, but you should know by now about the BDS movement.”
Later in the song, she sings: “Israel’s been flouting international law, and human rights lie trampled on the floor. Just like South Africa, time to boycott apartheid. So please Madonna don’t go to Eurovision, Madonna don’t go, make the right decision.”
PinkNews has reached out to Madonna’s representative for comment. The singer released a statement to CNN today where she said that she would not stop performing music “to suit someone’s political agenda,” but added that she would continue to speak out against human rights violations.
The statement continued: “My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict. I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace.”
Madonna has been urged not to cross the ‘international picket line’ by performing at Eurovision
Speaking about the parody, Abusalama said: “On the day we filmed this video, Palestinians in Gaza including my family were being bombed indiscriminately yet again by Israel’s apartheid regime. If Madonna performs in Israel, crossing the international picket line, she will be helping to normalise this brutality.”
“Eurovision, the world’s biggest music event, cannot claim a message for unity while being held in Israeli apartheid. Until Israel ceases its decades-long systematic denial of Palestinians rights, dispossession, land appropriation and war crimes, it must be treated as the pariah state it is by all people of conscience around the world.”
“Israel’s been flouting international law, and human rights lie trampled on the floor.”
– “Madonna Don’t Go” parody song
The parody comes as the Eurovision Song Contest kicks off this week in Tel Aviv with two semi-finals set to air this evening (May 14) and a second one on Thursday (May 16). The Eurovision Song Contest final will then be broadcast on Saturday (May 18) at which Madonna is set to perform. She will reportedly receive $1 million for the performance.
When it was announced last month that Madonna would be performing at Eurovision in Tel Aviv, a number of groups immediately urged her to boycott as a part of the BDS movement.
Calls for her to boycott were led by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) who released an open letter asking her to “not undermine” the Palestinian struggle for “freedom, justice and equality.”
A number of European LGBT+ groups have advocated for a Eurovision boycott
More than 60 LGBT+ groups across Europe have advocated for a boycott of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest as well as a wide variety of celebrities.
However, many have also criticised calls for a boycott. Stephen Fry was just one famous figure who signed an open letter on April 30 condemning calls for a Eurovision boycott.
The letter—which was released by non-profit Creative Community for Peace—said that music “transcends boundaries and brings people together under a common bond.”
“We believe that unifying events, such as singing competitions, are crucial to help bridge our cultural divides and bring people of all backgrounds together through their shared love of music.”
PinkNews has contacted the Creative Community for Peace for comment on London Palestine Action’s call for Madonna to boycott the contest.