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18th May 2019

Madonna uses Eurovision Song Contest to make subtle political statement about Palestine and Israel

James Dawson

Madonna didn’t ignore the Israel and Palestine conflict at Eurovision

The Eurovision  Song Contest final went ahead on Sunday night in Israel, despite some calls to boycott the contest due to the host state’s policies towards Palestinians.

Madonna, in particular, received criticism from pro-Palestinian groups for her decision to perform at the contest, including from Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie who said that Madonna was appearing as she would “do anything for money”.

On the night, the 60-year-old popstar sang her classic hit ‘Like A Prayer’ as well as her new single ‘Future’. She also appeared to address the criticism directly via a subtle political statement during her routine.

The routine saw dancers donning both the Israeli and Palestinian flags, with the pair holding hands on stage, along with a message in the background of the set reading “wake up”.

The performance attracted praise on social media for calling for unity and peace between the two countries.

One user wrote: “Let’s not focus on Madonna’s sub-par vocal but instead look at her mic-drop political statement against the treatment of Palestine by the host country who just paid her millions of dollars to perform in their Eurovision internal.”

Another added: “It might not have been Madonna’s best performance but I still enjoyed it! It was weird, she looked nervous. But I guess if you’re about to put a Palestine flag on display in Israel. In front of 200m viewers.”

Madonna’s appearance at the contest – which is watched by around 200 million people –  comes ahead of the release of her forthcoming album Madame X in June.

Speaking ahead of her performance in the green room, the American singer had told the shows hosts: “Look at all the delegates behind us. So many countries that I have been privileged enough to visit an experience, the one thing that brings me to those countries is music. ‘So let’s never underestimate the power of music to bring people together.”