The reigning queen of Eurovision, Netta Barzilai, has appeared on BBC Breakfast this week, to talk about the upcoming contest in Israel.
Barzilai slammed calls to boycott this year’s contest being held in Israel, saying in a BBC interview on Thursday, “When you boycott light, you spread darkness.”
Historically, the contest has always attempted to remain separate from politics, but anti-Israel protestors have called on Eurovision organisers to pull the contest out of the country, and for participants to abstain from performing in the Jewish state, an approach the Israeli singer described as counterproductive.
“Boycotting is preventing light from being spread and when you boycott light, you spread darkness. I believe in a dialogue, I believe in protest, let’s have it, but boycotting isn’t the answer.”
The competition is expected to draw an audience of tens of thousands of people and massive media attention to Israel.
Last month, a group of British cultural figures called on the BBC to support moving the contest elsewhere due to “Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian human rights.” The network rejected the petition, saying Eurovision was “not a political event and does not endorse any political message or campaign.”