In a powerful display of solidarity with Palestine, activists from Moviment Graffit made a significant statement during the Malta EuroPride opening concert. The controversial Israeli singer, Netta Barzilai, who won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, found herself at the centre of a symbolic protest as activists waved Palestinian flags and held placards condemning what they call “pinkwashing” of Israeli apartheid and occupation.
Netta Barzilai’s support for Israeli initiatives abroad and her involvement in events celebrating the banishment of Palestinians from their homeland has drawn sharp criticism. She has even been quoted as suggesting that Israel’s negative international reputation is merely a result of “bad PR” rather than its policies of oppression.
Moviment Graffit’s symbolic action serves as a poignant reminder that the Israeli state’s attempts to downplay its oppression of the Palestinian people on the global stage will not go unnoticed or unchallenged. Millions worldwide continue to stand in solidarity with Palestine and are committed to holding Israel accountable for its colonisation of Palestinian land and the suffering endured by the Palestinian people.
Last month, five Maltese organisations, including pioneers of Pride events in Malta, called for Netta Barzilai’s invitation to be revoked. They emphasised the glaring contradiction between EuroPride’s mission to celebrate love and equality and the inclusion of individuals associated with the Israeli apartheid state, accused of racism, killings, and ethnic cleansing. Regrettably, their request was ignored by the event organizers.
Netta Barzilai has also become a target of the “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS) campaign endorsed by Palestinian civil society. Similar to how international boycotts and sanctions played a pivotal role in ending the Apartheid regime in South Africa, Palestinians are calling upon the world to exert pressure on the Israeli Apartheid state by boycotting and sanctioning those complicit in its actions.