Madonna, on Eurovision, says she won't bow 'to suit someone's political agenda'

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Madonna, on Eurovision, says she won't bow 'to suit someone's political agenda'

Madonna this morning defended her decision to perform during the grand final in Tel Aviv, saying she will "never stop playing music to suit someone's political agenda". "I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this awful cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace", she added.

The "Like A Prayer" pop superstar, who is due to perform at Eurovision, responded to protests from pro-Palestinian groups who want companies and performers to boycott Israel in a statement on Tuesday (May 14).

Madonna, who has studied Kabbalah with the Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles, included Israel in her 2009 and 2012 world tours, and in 2004 took on the Hebrew name "Esther", although she has not formally converted to Judaism.

The association pointed to the killing of over 60 Palestinians during the violent border riots previous year on the same day Israel won the Eurovision song contest.

"If we do not have a signed contract, she can not perform on that stage", Eurovision executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand said. "I'm really happy to be here", said Cypriot singer Tamta, the first artist to stroll the walkway flanked by visiting photographers and reporters. "We don't have a signed contract with her team, and if we do not have a signed contract, she can not perform on our stage".

"If there is no signed contract this week, she will not be on the stage".

'We need to have the framework secured, ' Ola told the BBC.

Madonna, 60, is expected to perform two songs in Tel Aviv, one from her upcoming "Madame X" album to be released in June.

The statement said: "The members of the entertainment industry who have signed this statement, along with the thousands of individuals who have endorsed its message, all believe in building bridges through music and the arts as a means to achieving greater understanding and peace in the region".

The letter raised issues such as Israel's occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem amongst other ongoing conflicts in the country between Palestinians and Israelis.

"We urge you and all participants to withdraw from Eurovision".

Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom - the big five countries that make the biggest financial contributions to the European Broadcasting Union, which broadcasts the song contest - along with Israel, as host country, have all bypassed the semis per the rules.

"Because of this, we will be taking part in this year's event".

A counter-statement was signed by figures such as Stephen Fry, Sharon Osbourne and Marina Abramovic who argued that boycotting Eurovision was "an affront to both Palestinians and Israelis who are working to advance peace through compromise, exchange, and mutual recognition".

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