Madonna's Eurovision Song Contest 2019 performance in doubt

13 2019 shows an anti-occupation billboard by Israeli NGO Breaking The Silence erected on a street in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv

The preliminary rounds of the Eurovision Song Contest broadcast from the Israeli capital Tel Aviv on Tuesday were interrupted for some viewers by hackers, who issued a chilling missile attack warning.

News that Madonna had been booked as a guest performer had provoked opponents of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories to demand she re-think her commitment.

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".

Madonna's statement echoes Cave's sentiment, as she defends her right to perform to Israeli fans while saying her "heart breaks" over the violence. "So please Madonna don't go to Eurovision, Madonna don't go, make the right decision".

A representative for Madonna has been contacted for comment.

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On Tuesday, Madonna addressed the controversy, telling Reuters she would "never stop playing music to suit someone's political agenda, nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be".

"I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this awful cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace".

Madonna, who has studied Kabbalah with the Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles, included Israel in her 2009 and 2012 world tours, and in 2004 took on the Hebrew name "Esther", although she has not formally converted to Judaism.

"Eurovision, the world's biggest music event, can not claim a message for unity while being held in Israeli apartheid".

Other qualifiers from the first semi final include Greece, Belarus, Serbia, Cyprus, Estonia, Czech Republic, San Marino, and Slovenia.

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Madonna may be unable to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, as organisers claim the superstar has yet to sign a contract. She will reportedly receive $1 million for the performance.

Israel has launched a PR campaign to counter calls for a boycott of the Eurovision contest by the worldwide Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (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".

Information Coordinator for BDS, Rita Abu Ghosh, said that hosting the song contest in Israel has created a "real crisis" for hundreds of artists because the Zionist state "is using it to whitewash its crimes against the Palestinians".

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