Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Maajid: Eurovision Boycott "As Distorted" As Refusing To Meet Trump But Dining With Chinese President
19 May 2019, 18:33
Calling for the Eurovision Song Contest to be boycotted because it was hosted in Israel is as distorted as politicians protesting Trump's UK visit but attended one for Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Maajid Nawaz says that calls for a boycott of the global competition was "as distorted as" political protesters who refuse to meet US President Donald Trump but attend a dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Speaking on his LBC show, Maajid said: "Leading up to the Eurovision song contest a lot of those campaigners who support a boycott of Israel were asking for the Eurovision Song Contest to be boycotted but interestingly zero did so.
"No artist and no country pulled out of this Eurovision Song Contest just because it was hosted in Israel and good on them.
"I think it would have been a really sad indictment on the artists themselves or a country because it gets me thinking, why pick on Israel when all other countries that host any number of sports events and cultural exchange programmes are not boycotted."
"To specifically question the legitimacy of that one state, rather than any other state is what I take issue with.
"It's as distorted as those protesters who protest President Trump when he comes to this country - if you're the Speaker of the House and you refuse to meet Trump, yet you attended dinner with President Xi of China, then there's something wrong with your political calculations and moral compass.
"It doesn't make any sense, morally nor politically, to take these inconsistent stances and it cheapens human life in those countries where it's been taken away."
Watch in the video above.
The Netherlands won the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv after coming top of the leaderboard with Duncan Laurence's performance of Arcade.
But two performances sparked criticism for politicising the competition by featuring the flags of Israel and Palestine.
For a brief moment during Madonna's guest performance, two of her backing dancers displayed the two flags in an unapproved part of the routine.
Eurovision said: "In the live broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final, two of Madonna's dancers briefly displayed the Israeli and Palestinian flags on the back of their outfits.
"This element of the performance was not part of the rehearsals which had been cleared with the EBU and the host broadcaster, KAN.
"The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and Madonna had been made aware of this."
In a separate incident, Iceland's act is facing investigation by Eurovision after two band members held up Palestinian flags while their public vote was being announced.
Eurovision said the "consequences of this action" will be determined by the contest's executive board.
The UK's entry Michael Rice came last, after winning just three points in the public vote and 16 in total for his performance of Bigger Than Us.