British cultural figures urge BBC to boycott Eurovision in Israel

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Vivienne Westwood, Mike Leigh and Julie Christie are among those calling for coverage to be cancelled, citing human rights violations

British cultural figures including Vivienne Westwood, Peter Gabriel and Mike Leigh have signed a letter calling on the BBC to cancel coverage of this year’s Eurovision song contest because it is taking place in Israel.

The letter, published in the Guardian, criticises Israel over its occupation of Palestinian territories. “Eurovision may be light entertainment, but it is not exempt from human rights considerations – and we cannot ignore Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian human rights,” it reads. “The BBC is bound by its charter to ‘champion freedom of expression’. It should act on its principles and press for Eurovision to be relocated to a country where crimes against that freedom are not being committed.”

Related: The BBC should press for Eurovision to be moved from Israel | Letter

Related: Nick Cave: cultural boycott of Israel is ‘cowardly and shameful’

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