Pop icon Madonna, 60, is reported to be playing at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel on May 18. Her appearance was first announced by Live Nation Israel, who said the performance will be “historical and hysterical”, however her people told BBC she is yet to sign on the dotted line. It has now been revealed the songstress has been urged to boycott the show by The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), part of a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign. The campaign supporters have penned a letter to Madonna, which reads: “Palestinians hope that you will not undermine our struggle for freedom, justice and equality by performing at Eurovision in apartheid Tel Aviv, on the ruins of the ethnically-cleansed village of al-Shaykh Muwannis.
“The call from Palestinian artists to boycott Eurovision hosted by Israel is supported by more than 100,000 people signing petitions, over 100 LGBTQIA groups, more than 20 Israeli artists, and hundred of prominent international artists including the 1994 Eurovision winner.
“Israel’s fanatic, far-right government is cynically exploiting your performance, and those of the contestants, to mask its deepening oppression of Palestinians.”
Earlier this week, the BBC said Madonna’s team had confirmed she had been asked to play at the gig, but said: “No final decisions have been made or agreements signed.”
They added: “Official news and updates will come directly from the Eurovision channels in due course.”
Express.co.uk has contacted a representative for Madonna for comment.
The news of Madonna’s performance was first announced on Live Nation Israel’s Facebook page.
Alongside a picture of the hitmaker, a translated caption read: “Live Nation is proud and excited to bring Queen Mother Madonna to Israel for a special performance during the competition that will be held this year in the Holy Land and will include the performance of two songs, including a new song in the premiere of the next album.
“We could not think of a better opening shot for the coming summer. Get ready for more surprises!”
It is also reported the star’s performance is expected to cost around $1 million (£765,000).
The Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in Israel after the country’s contestant Netta shot to victory last year.
Host Sylvan Adams reportedly said: “I’m excited and proud to host Madonna in Israel.
“I believe her performance, accompanied by dozens of professional backup dancers, will make a significant contribution to the success of the event and to the strengthening of Israel’s positive branding in the world.”
The singer has performed in the city of Tel Aviv multiple times, including on her MDNA tour in 2012.
Elsewhere, a host of celebrity have also signed a petition urging the BBC to campaign to move the contest due to human rights concerns in Israel.
The petition reportedly read: “Eurovision may be light entertainment, but it is not exempt from human rights considerations…
“We cannot ignore Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian human rights.
“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.”
The broadcaster reportedly responded: “Eurovision is not a political event and does not endorse any political message or campaign.
“The competition has always supported the values of friendship, inclusion, tolerance and diversity and we do not believe it would be appropriate to use the BBC’s participation for political reasons.
“Because of this we will be taking part in this year’s event. The host country is determined by the rules of the competition, not the BBC.”