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May 22, 2018 1:08 pm

Irish Singer Offers to Perform Next Year at Eurovision in Israel, Despite Boycott Push

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Israel’s Netta Barzilai performs after winning the 2018 Eurovision song contest at the Altice Arena hall in Lisbon, Portugal, May 12, 2018. Reuters / Pedro Nunes.

Songstress Donna McCaul — who once represented Ireland in the annual Eurovision contest — has said she would be willing to perform on behalf of her country at next year’s event in Israel, despite call by a fellow Irish singer to boycott the Jewish state, The Irish Sun reported on Tuesday.

Last week, Charlie McGettigan, who represented Ireland and won the contest in 1994, urged a boycott of next year’s competition following deadly violence on the Israel-Gaza Strip border. The 66-year-old told The Irish Sun many of his friends in the Irish music industry supported his idea of boycotting Israel to show support for the “nearly two million oppressed people living on a small piece of land and being treated very badly by the Israelis.”

Eurovision is held annually in the home country of the previous year’s winner and this year Israel’s Netta Barzilai took home the top prize.

McCaul — who represented Ireland alongside her brother in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2005 — said she was willing to disagree with other performers in the industry and sing on behalf of Ireland in next year’s competition in Israel. She said, “I hope that doesn’t happen but if it does, I can handle a little grief.”

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“Eurovision is like the Olympics, it’s about unity and inspiring people,” she added. “I’ve been waiting for a chance to represent Ireland for a long time, and I would be excited to do it in Israel next year. I don’t think politics should affect whether we send an entry to Eurovision. Israel won with a great entry this year.”

McCaul also said about Barzilai,”[She] is absolutely incredible. She and her fans deserve to host in their home country, just like every other winning nation.”

McGettigan told The Irish Sun he was “disappointed” by McCaul’s comments, “but I can’t dictate to her what she can and can’t do. Everybody is entitled to their opinion.”

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