Middle East Politics Having a Big Effect on Eurovision Song Contest
Performers from 41 countries gathered in Tel Aviv's "Culture Square" last weekend for the opening ceremony for Eurovision 2019.
The 64th Eurovision Song Contest holds semi-final events this week in Tel Aviv, Israel's show business capital. The contest will end on Saturday, when the winner is announced.
The Eurovision finals are being held in Israel because Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won the event last year. The winning country usually hosts the competition the following year.
Cypriot singer Tamta was the first contestant to walk the orange carpet in Culture Square. Reporters and camera crews followed her every move.
"Everyone is excited in my team. I'm really happy to be here," she said.
DJ Darude of Finland said artists behind the scenes at the festival were "slapping high-fives and having a good time."
Security and politics
The Eurovision song contest is taking place at a time of security concerns in Israel and calls for a boycott.
Contest organizers are worried about recent violence between Israel and Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. For now, a ceasefire that went into effect over a week ago has been holding.
Security in and around Tel Aviv has been increased over fears that activists may try to disrupt the competition.
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions or BDS movement is a Pro-Palestinian group. It aims to pressure governments, companies, performers and others to cut ties with Israel. It has called on singers and broadcasters to withdraw from the 2019 Eurovision finals.
No delegations have yet pulled out of the competition.
Israel has launched a counter-campaign, criticizing BDS and accusing some of the group's supporters of hating Jews or having ties to militant groups such as Hamas. BDS leaders reject these claims.
Pop star Madonna is supposed to make a guest appearance at the Eurovision finals on Saturday. She has rejected calls to boycott the event.
"I'll never stop playing music to suit someone's political agenda," she said in a statement to the Reuters news agency. "Nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be."
John Kennedy O'Connor wrote the official history of the Eurovision Song Contest. He noted that "there's definitely more controversy around Israel's contest than past ones."
I'm John Russell.
1.opening ceremony 开幕仪式
Many guests were invited to opening ceremony.
2.political agenda 政治日程
Nowadays, AIDS problem has been put on the key position of the global political agenda.
3.human rights 人权
He was making all the right noises about multi-party democracy and human rights.
4.speaking out 公开发声
You can't stop me from speaking out.
5.DJ Darude of Finland said artists behind the scenes at the festival were "slapping high-fives and having a good time."
having a good time 玩的高兴
You can hear people talking or singing loudly, and they are having a good time.
I hope he's having a good time in Florida.
6.The Eurovision song contest is taking place at a time of security concerns in Israel and calls for a boycott.
at a time of 正值...
Customers are drawing in their horns at a time of high interest rates.
At a time of economic challenge, the world has come together to broaden prosperity.
决赛将在以色列举行，因为以色列歌手Netta Barzilai去年夺魁 。通常，冠军所在的国家将成为下届比赛的举办国 。
比赛组织者担心近期以色列人和生活在加沙地带的巴勒斯坦人发生的暴力事件 。目前，在一周前生效的停火协议仍然有效 。
“抵制、撤资、制裁”运动（BDS）是一个亲巴勒斯坦组织 。该组织旨在向政府、公司、表演者和其他人施压，要求他们断绝与以色列的往来，并呼吁歌手和广播公司退出2019年欧洲电视决赛 。
约翰·肯尼迪·奥康纳撰写了欧洲电视歌唱大赛的官方历史 。他指出：“有关以色列比赛的争议无疑多于以往 。”