IRELAND – RTÉ will not sanction any member of staff who doesn’t wish to travel to Israel for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Director General Dee Forbes and others from RTÉ on Wednesday met with representatives of an Irish campaign group which is calling for the contest to be boycotted.
During the meeting members of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign presented a petition with over 11,000 signatures backing such a move. The group said it wants Ireland to shun the event “due to Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people”.
In a statement released after the meeting, the group said the RTÉ representatives stated that they “will take away all that has been said and think about it”, and noted that there “will not be any sanction against anyone from within RTÉ who doesn’t wish travel on conscientious grounds”.
Representatives from RTÉ are also quoted as saying the broadcaster is “well aware that the Irish people are very concerned about and supportive of Palestinians” and “will not just be covering [the Eurovision] as an entertainment event and, bearing in mind everything that has been discussed, will be covering it more widely”.
A spokesperson for RTÉ confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the quotes attributed to staff are accurate.