"We will host our own Gazavision, a festival of Palestinian songs and music held while surrounded by the most brutal and well-equipped army in the Middle East.”
Palestinians are hosting a rival musical event in opposition to this years ‘Eurovision’ being held in Israel. They hope the Gaza concert will bring a message of peace and draw attention to Israeli crimes.
‘Gazavision’ music festival kicked off Tuesday and will extend to Saturday thereby coinciding with the Eurovision final in Tel Aviv. The festival is being organized by a number of Gaza strip artists and cultural centers that are also calling for a boycott of the Tel Aviv event, labeling it ‘artwashing’ of Israeli violence against Palestinians. As well as Palestinian artists such as Dima Bawab and queer Palestinian pop artist Bashar Murad, international acts are also taking part, including British artist Brian Eno and Israeli pop star Ohal Grietzer.
A statement from the organization, published in the Palestine Chronicle reads, “In the midst of twelve years of the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip and decades of military occupation, we will host our own Gazavision, a festival of Palestinian songs and music held while surrounded by the most brutal and well-equipped army in the Middle East.”
One organizer, Sumayya al-Katari said that Israel is using Eurovision "to tell the world that it is a stable country full of tourist attractions like any European country … using famous international musicians by paying them tens of millions [of dollars]"
There are signs that the call to boycott may have had some effect, Israeli business news site “Globes” reported on April 28 that the prices of flights and hotels in Tel Aviv were falling as demand to visit Israel for the event had not reached expectations.
The Gazavision festival will air live on Youtube and on watchglobalvision.com on Saturday, May 18 at 10 p.m. Gaza time.