Breakfast television show Good Morning Britain has clarified why it deleted a poll asking viewers whether Eurovision hosted in Israel should be boycotted,saying the issue could “not be effectively addressed” in that format.
Marking 100 days until the competition is held in Tel Aviv, the ITV programme’s Twitter account sent out a tweet leading to angry reaction online.
GMB’s Twitter account posted a question, which has since been deleted, saying: “There are calls for Britain to boycott this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, over Israel’s human rights record. Do you agree?”, with options ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
Shortly before being removed, more than 54,000 people had voted in the poll, with ‘No’ taking 58 percent of the vote, compared to ‘Yes’, supporting a boycott, with 42 percent.
A spokesperson for GMB clarified why it deleted the poll, saying it “regularly invites viewers to respond to questions on subjects which are going to be debated the following day. On reflection it was decided that this multi layered issue could not be effectively addressed in a simple yes or no question/answer format and needed to reflect the complexity of the subject matter which was thoroughly covered in the studio debate this morning.”
After the poll was posted, British Jewish Twitter users reacted with anger, including deputy on the Board of Deputies, Tal Ofer, who asked the show: “Is this your way to improve your ratings? Pathetic”.
The Israel Britain Alliance called the poll “preposterous”, while international lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky, replied to GMB asking them “out of curiosity, do you also have such polls whether to boycott Olympics in Russia or Football World Cup in Qatar? Or is it just against Israel you entertain this platform?”
Television and radio presenter Jonny Gould added: “This is quite disreputable. Israel is not on trial and this is a cynical antizionist vehicle which only fuels antisemitism.”
This comes after a more than 11,200 people signed an online petition calling for the European Broadcasting Union to support the singing competition, and the BBC rejected calls for it to boycott the show.