Erekat Slams Eurovision Contest’s Palestinian Flag Ban

(Photo: via Twitter)

PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat slammed the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on Saturday for banning the Palestinian flag from the 2016 Eurovision song contest, calling the ruling “discriminatory and a serious offense against our nation.”

In a letter obtained by Ma’an addressed to EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot, Erekat expressed his “outrage and indignation” toward the decision, which also banned flags from other disputed political entities such as Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, and the Islamic State.

EBU released the “flag policy” on their website on Friday, which was reportedly published by mistake.

The statement read: “Particularly, the organizers request and urge the fan community to respect and appreciate the non-political nature of the Eurovision Song Contest,” stating that only flags representing UN member states would be permitted.

Erekat responded to the ban, telling Philippot: “Your decision to single out the flag of Palestine, a country recognized by 138 world nations and who has an observer status in the United Nations, is discriminatory and a serious offense against our nation.”

Eurovision has never invited a Palestinian representative to participate in the contest, while Israel has participated in the event 38 times since 1973.

(MAAN)

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