Roger Waters urges Madonna to boycott Eurovision Israel performance

“If you believe in human rights, Madonna, don’t play Tel Aviv,” he writes

Roger Waters and Madonna
Roger Waters and Madonna

Not everyone is looking forward to Madonna’s upcoming visit to Israel.

The legendary pop star will perform during the Eurovision Song Contest exactly a month from today. This year, the event — which draws 180 million viewers and changes locations annually — is being held in Tel Aviv, Israel. While her scheduled performance there will only consist of two songs, it is already being promoted by Live Nation Israel as “both historical and hysterical”.

Now, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters has penned a new op-ed in The Guardian aimed at convincing Madonna to cancel her appearance at the event. Waters describes Eurovision’s decision to host the event in Israel as a “betrayal of our joint humanity.” As for Madonna, he says her role in the matter “raises, yet again, fundamentally important ethical and political questions for each and every one of us to contemplate.”

He goes on to urge Eurovision’s contestants, viewers, and Madonna herself, to read the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Perhaps the most direct call-to-action comes later, though, when he condemns her for following in the footsteps of artists like Radiohead and Nick Cave who ignored similar warnings.

(Read: Madonna’s Like a Prayer Mixes the Sacred and Profane to Create Her Masterpiece)

“Some of my fellow musicians who have recently performed in Israel say they are doing it to build bridges and further the cause of peace. Bullshit,” writes Waters. “To perform in Israel is a lucrative gig but to do so serves to normalise the occupation, the apartheid, the ethnic cleansing, the incarceration of children, the slaughter of unarmed protesters… all that bad stuff.”

Meanwhile, Madonna has her attention focused elsewhere. She recently announced a new album called Madame X, the title of which nods to her new persona as “a secret agent traveling around the world, changing identity, fighting for freedom, and bringing light to dark places.”

Yesterday, Madonna released “Medellín”, the lead single off the album and her first official single in four years. You can play catch-up with her catalog with plenty of time before Madame X arrives on June 14th.

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