LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) Madonna defended her decision to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel, saying she will always speak up to defend human rights.
Madonna is expected to make a guest appearance on Saturday during the Eurovision finals in Tel Aviv. Pro-Palestinian activists have called for a boycott who want companies, performers and governments to disengage from Israel.
“I’ll never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be,” the singer said in a statement to Reuters. “My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict. I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace,” she added.
Israel is hosting the event after it was won last year by local singer Netta Barzilai. The country of the last winner traditionally hosts the next event.
Madonna is expected to sing two songs, one from her upcoming album. Two of her recent tours made stops in Israel and she is a follower of the mystical form of Judaism called Kabbalah.
Her Ray of Light foundation supports a number of Palestinian projects, including funding teachers’ salaries at schools in the Gaza Strip through the United Nations Palestinian Refugee Agency UNRWA, according to Reuters.