Israel is an apartheid state. Kick it out of the Eurovision Song Contest.

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Israel maintains a racist apartheid regime in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which it has illegally occupied since 1967. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called the system a "mirror image" of South African apartheid, while Israel's leading human rights group B'Tselem and former US President Jimmy Carter have noted the striking resemblance between the two. Israel carries out regular massacres of Palestinian people, imprisoning and torturing many of them, attacks protesters and destroys the conditions that sustain life in the territories. It has illegally transplanted hundreds of thousands of its citizens into vast swaths of colonised Palestinian land, bulldozed Palestinian homes and properties, stolen their water resources and created the biggest refugee crisis in the world.

UN rapporteur on human rights in the occupied territories Richard Falk recently suggested a "legitimacy war" against Israel as a means of ending its occupation, which is maintained with the help of American military aid and British arms. Putting a question mark over its continued future as part of the Eurovision Song Contest, while hardly a knock-out blow, is a good first step in stripping Israel of the international legitimacy it has proven, time and again, that it does not deserve.

This petition does not suggest that Israel's crimes are especially egregious compared with those of, say, the United States and Britain, both longstanding international bullies, human rights abusers and violators of international law. Rather, it aims to serve as a tactical response to one important problem that is within our power to address.



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