JERUSALEM (AP) — As host of this year’s Eurovision, Israel has tried to use the hugely popular song contest to present itself as a tolerant and cosmopolitan country that is winning increased acceptance on the world stage. But despite Israel’s best branding efforts, the kitschy festival is clouded in political conflict and controversy.
Palestinian militants bombarded southern Israel with hundreds of rockets during a bloody round of fighting last week, raising concerns that the contest could be disrupted by violence. The Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel has been urging tourists and artists to stay home.
Even an Israeli promotional video for the contest appears to have backfired, drawing accusations of anti-Semitism and misogyny.
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