Olly Alexander Responds To Calls From Queers For Palestine To Withdraw From Eurovison 2024

Olly Alexander Responds To Calls From Queers For Palestine To Withdraw From Eurovison 2024
Image: Olly Alexander. Image: Facebook

Olly Alexander and other Eurovision 2024 performers have rejected calls to withdraw from the competition over Israel’s inclusion in the song contest. 

Over 450 artists and organisations had signed an open letter as Queers for Palestine calling on Olly to boycott Eurovision and “heed the call from Palestinians and commit not to perform at Eurovision while it provides cultural cover for an ongoing genocide”.  

“We share the vision of queer joy and abundance you’ve offered through your music, and share your belief in collective liberation for all,” the letter said. 

“In this spirit, we ask you to heed the Palestinian call to withdraw from Eurovision. By refusing to expel Israel from the competition, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is providing cultural cover and endorsement for the catastrophic violence that Israel has unleashed on Palestinians,” said Queers For Palestine.

Call For Peace

 

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Olly responded to the letter sent by Queers for Palestine and posted his response on Instagram. “I wholeheartedly support action being taken to demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, the return of all hostages and the safety and security of all civilians in Palestine and Israel,” said Olly.  

“I know some people will choose to boycott this year’s Eurovision and I understand and respect their decision.”

The British singer and It’s A Sin star said he had taken a lot of time to deliberate on the issue. “It is my current belief that removing myself from the contest wouldn’t bring us any closer to our shared goal.”

Olly said he had spoken with some of the other Eurovision contestants and they had decided that “by taking part we can use our platform to come together and call for peace.”

“I hope and pray that our calls are answered and there is an end to the atrocities we are seeing taking place in Gaza,” the singer added. 

Unifying Power Of Music

UK’s Eurovision 2024 contestant also released a joint statement with his fellow contestants including Ireland’s Bambie Thug,  Switzerland’s Nemo, Norway’s Gåte, Portugal’s Iolanda, San Marino’s Megara, Denmark’s Saba, Lithuania’s Silvester Belt and Finland’s Windows95Man. 

“We firmly believe in the unifying power of music, enabling people to transcend differences and foster meaningful conversations and connections,” the statement read.

The contestants said that they would not remain silent on the issue. “In light of the current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and particularly in Gaza, we do not feel comfortable being silent. It is important to us to stand in solidarity with the oppressed and communicate our heartfelt wish for peace, an immediate and lasting ceasefire and the safe return of all hostages. We stand united against all forms of hate, including antisemitism and Islamophobia.”

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