Opinion

Thanks Iceland, Madonna for Disrupting Eurovision's Big Deception

Two of Madonna's dancers with Israeli and Palestinian flags on their backs during her Eurovision performance in Tel Aviv
AFP

Some 360,000 people live in Iceland, whereas Germany’s population is over 80 million, 225-fold larger than Iceland’s. But in a test of morality, Iceland is a thousand-fold more decent than Germany, with its generations-long murderous history, particularly directed at Jews.

At this point in time, instead of playing a key role in bringing peace and justice to the Middle East, Germany is placing all its stocks in the Israeli occupation and the continued oppression of the Palestinian people. During the merry days of the Eurovision song contest, the Bundestag (the name still evokes chills among many, particularly in this country) saw fit to pass a resolution that defines the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement as racist and anti-Semitic, no doubt to the dismay of MK Bezalel Smotrich, that shining knight of human rights.

Indeed, there are some anti-Semites in the BDS movement, but there are many people, including Jews, who see a boycott as a legitimate means of combating the wrongs inflicted by Israel on the Palestinians. Many boycott supporters see such action as a warning bell, a means of informing Israelis that occupation leads to a dictatorship, a regime in which normative government procedures are alien, as evident in the immunity law now taking shape.

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Now, the hypocrites at the European Broadcasting Union are saying that the Eurovision competition is a “non-political event.” This statement came in response to the performance of two dancers who appeared while Madonna was singing – on their backs were painted the flags of Israel and Palestine. The Icelanders who waved Palestinian flags face penalties – the Union is talking about fines or a suspension from Eurovision. Occupying Israel, in; human-rights supporter Iceland, out. The anti-Semitic and racist Europe is marching backwards.

Nevertheless, we might ask, what’s political about a Palestinian flag? A flag is the flag of a people. Why are the Europeans so quick to embrace the narrative of the Israeli right wing with regard to the flag? This flag has fluttered repeatedly during bilateral meetings between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

What was the crime committed by the dancers appearing during Madonna’s song, other than telling the world to note the “present absentee” missing in this gigantic celebration, sensed by everyone despite all the attempts to make him invisible? The overlords here are trying to convince the whole world that Palestine doesn’t exist, but a piece of cloth, in four colors, triggers an earthquake. Yes, that’s the power of Palestine, it makes the oppressors lose sleep.

Iceland's Hatari at the Eurovision final in Tel Aviv.

Therefore, thanks are due to the two defiant dancers who, in the course of dancing and entertaining 200 million viewers, reminded everyone that the wrongdoing is occurring right in the backyard of the stage presented in all its glory to the world. Yes, there are more than two million Palestinians locked in hermetically in Gaza, a short distance from Tel Aviv. A remind to viewers that due to the glittering event, a further three million people were confined to the West Bank. Really, what’s so wrong with this innocent transmission of information, displayed on the backs of excellent dancers?

Icelanders deserve a thank you that’s 225-fold larger than the population of that beautiful country. They too decided to disrupt the big deception presented to the world. The guys from Iceland told 200 million viewers that while Israel was preparing to host visitors with a shining smile, it prevented the parents of a five-year-old girl from Gaza, called Aisha al-Lulu, from accompanying her to a hospital in East Jerusalem, where she underwent some very complicated surgery. Instead, she was accompanied by a woman she didn’t know to an event that was of apocalyptic proportions for her. Aisha was hospitalized alone in the al-Makassed Hospital, undergoing a complicated operation to remove a brain tumor, without her parents beside her. From there, she was moved to the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem for a follow-up. She emerged from there all alone, with a sad smile on her face, on her lonely trip back to Gaza, and from there, on to her final journey.