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PA culture minister: Holding Eurovision in Tel Aviv is “tantamount to additional whitewashing of the occupation’s crimes,” and exposes “occupation’s settler mentality, which is based on falsification, erasure, and settlement…”

Headline: “Abu Saif: The Eurovision competition constitutes an additional whitewashing of the occupation’s crimes”

“[PA] Minister of Culture Atef Abu Saif said yesterday [May 14, 2019] that the Eurovision competition, which is expected to open today, is tantamount to additional whitewashing of the occupation’s crimes, bypassing the international institutions’ decisions, and ignoring humanitarian law.

Abu Saif said that the opening of this ceremony on the ruins of the old Palestinian neighborhood Al-Manshiyya in ancient Jaffa rudely exposes the occupation’s settler mentality, which is based on falsification, erasure, and settlement. He added that this mentality constitutes a cancerous growth in the awareness of the free world and global culture, and that it must be uprooted immediately so that it will not spread to other parts of the world’s body and gnaw away at it with its fangs.

Abu Saif welcomed the position of the artists, bands, and activists who announced that they are boycotting the Eurovision competition…

He explained that deliberately holding this event on Palestinian Nakba Day (i.e., May 15, 2019; the Nakba is “the catastrophe,” the Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel; see note below) constitutes determination on the part of the occupation government to perpetuate our people’s Nakba and guarantee its continuation in this despicable manner, 71 years after it took place (sic., the Eurovision contest is always held in May). Abu Saif added that the participation of international bands and artists in this event entangles them, so that they become partners in the continuation of the despicable crime – the Palestinian Nakba

Abu Saif added that the use of the map of Palestine as ‘Israel’ in advertisements for this event negate and erase the Palestinian people, the legal and original owners of the land.”

Nakba Day - Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day on May 15, the day after the establishment of Israel. On May 15, 1948, combined forces from Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq joined local Arab forces in an attempt to eradicate the newly established State of Israel. The Nakba (Arabic = catastrophe) refers to the establishment of Israel, and the subsequent defeat in the war, including the killing and displacement of Arab civilians that occurred during the war.