York Stop The War ‘reluctantly’ change ‘genocide free’ Eurovision Israel boycott event
They’d organised a boycott for people ‘tired of seeing Israel’s War Crimes covered up by sequins’
York's Stop The War society has come under fire for describing an alternative Eurovision event as "genocide free."
Following criticism and pressure from YUSU, the group have "reluctantly" changed the wording on the gig. The event, planned at the Crescent Community Venue on Saturday as the song contest takes place in Israeli capital Tel Aviv, is now described as "oppression free."
The event's description on Facebook reads, "Sick of all the Eurovision propaganda? Tired of seeing Israel’s War Crimes covered up by sequins? Looking for a way to escape it for the evening? We’ve got just the thing for you…
"Come spend an evening boycotting Eurovision and its host with Stop the War Society – we’ll be hosting a gig at the Crescent that is 100% oppression, murder and war crime free!"
YUSU President James Durcan told Jewish News, "Language and imagery is an important part of this and in this particular incident a Union officer reached out to the Stop the War Society because of concern that the language used to promote the event was highly inappropriate and could well leave members of the student community feeling uncomfortable; something that is clearly unacceptable."
However, the Stop the War society insist that: "We very much feel that the term we used initially (“genocide”) is commensurate with what has been happening in the Occupied Territories and we stand by the use of the word."
It was only following contact with YUSU that STW made the change, saying: "We do not wish to upset or offend the Jewish or Israeli members of the public nor of the student or staff body who may see the event, we do not want anyone to feel excluded from the event and we would welcome all to attend.
"However we do wish to show that the actions of the Israeli government in their occupation of Palestine and the treatment of Palestinians is illegal, unjust and does constitute genocide."