Two European Parliament lawmakers from Ireland expressed support for boycotting Israel in connection with its winning the Eurovision song contest.
Following Israel’s winning Saturday of the competition with a song about female empowerment, Lynn Boylan of Ireland’s far-left Sinn Féin party wrote on Twitter: “Israel wins Eurovision so let’s make BDS more successful than ever in 2019,” wrote Boylan on Twitter, adding an image of a clenched fist.
Nessa Childers, another Irish lawmaker for the Party of European Socialists, retweeted Boylan’s message, adding the word: “This!” She later wrote: “Jerusalem? The mind boggles. I thought Tel Aviv.”
BDS are the initials for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, whose critics say is a form of modern anti-Semitism, though the movement’s advocates say it is a legitimate and non-violent form of protest against Israel’s actions in its conflict with Palestinians.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the next Eurovision song contest will be held in Jerusalem. The winner of the contest gets to host it at a place of their choosing, most often in the capital city. Israel has hosted the Eurovision in Jerusalem twice in past years.
Emmett O’Brien, a lawmaker from Ireland’s Limerick County, criticised the European Parliament lawmakers on Twitter for politicising the cultural event. “So much pathetic hate against Israel,” he wrote, asking them to condemn Hamas. Others accused Boylan of supporting anti-Semitism, which she denied.
Órla Nic Biorna, a regional lawmaker for Sinn Féin, an Irish nationalist movement that was affiliated with the now-defunct Provisional Irish Republican Army terrorist group, wrote on Twitter: ”Shocked at the support for Israel tonight in the Eurovision. People seem to forget that they are a Zionist state illegally occupying Palestine.”