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WATCH: Palestinians 'Dare to Dream' as Eurovision event in Israel nears

This year’s Eurovision slogan is ‘Dare to Dream.’ Activestills asked Palestinians what their dreams are.

Israel will be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest this year, with some 200 million people expected to watch from around the world. The event, which will take place from May 14 to May 18 in Tel Aviv, falls around Nakba Day, during which Palestinians remember the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were expelled and fled, and over 500 villages that were destroyed, in the 1948 war.

In a play on the competition’s slogan for this year, “Dare to Dream,” Activestills asked Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza about their life and dreams while living under Israeli occupation. Some said they dream of becoming swimmers, or ballet dancers; all speakers said they strive to live a normal life, in safety, without oppression.

A second video in the series focuses on the reality of the Israeli occupation and apartheid. It’s introduced as a “postcard” from Palestine — a reference to the short clips that proceed each participating country’s performance.

“Everything they will show you is very far away from the reality we live in Palestine,” says one of the interviewees, on the backdrop of police detaining a Palestinian child, then right wing protestors assaulting a cameraman.

Other scenes include the demolition of a Palestinian home, Palestinians waiting in long lines at a checkpoint, and a bulldozer uprooting an olive tree.

“This competition will take place on a confiscated land, whose indigenous owners were expelled from,” says another speaker in the video.

Supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement have called on Eurovision fans to boycott the event, accusing Israel of “artwashing” its occupation of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza through music.

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    1. Mark

      When expulsions and destroyed villages are mentioned it’s worth remembering the expulsion of Jews from East Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish Quarter. Not to mention the Gush Etzion villages and massacres.

      There is a reason why East Jerusalem has come to be known as “Arab”.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        @Mark: Tell me what you think of this idea: why don’t we stop remembering who nakba’d whom and simply stop doing it? No more expulsions of anyone, no more home demolitions, no more villages bulldozed. no more moving around entire populations as if they were rocks in the desert?

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        While you are at it you might also consider it worth remembering the expulsion of around 6,000 Arabs from the Jewish Quarter immediately after 1967, and following on that the ensuing of the endless, relentless, ongoing process of discrimination, dispossession and exclusion of other Arab residents of all parts of Jerusalem, including its eastern part. To this day and with no end in sight in the lovely fantasy land of “eternal undivided” Jerusalem.

        “It’s worth remembering…not to mention”…such comments in this context have to my ear a “just saying,” fake “balancing,” “two sides,” context-poor quality that, attached to no other principle, or aim or structure, balances nothing really and gets no one far.

        It’s like that New Jersey Jewish organization advocate the other day who explained that he wanted to ban a “P is for Palestine” children’s book, of all things, from the local library because one of the pages contains: ““I is for Intifada, Intifada is Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or a grownup!”

        Per the official, Josh Pruzansky, “We are advocating against violence, which the intifada is all about.”

        Oh, I see, Mr. Pruzansky, “intifada” is all about “violence,” but “occupation” is not? Come again? It is simply demonization and delegitimizaton of Palestinians to say this, and it is pure one-sided fakery masquerading as two-sidism to ignore like this the extreme violence of the occupation and creeping annexation.

        Pruzasnky is a propagandist trying to ban, in America, a childrens’ book, and to smear everything the Palestinians do as “violence,” while assiduously ignoring the every day violence of the occupation.

        “A is for annexation, and for arrest of protest-organizers and poets, B is for sniper bullets killing medics in uniform and youths running away, D is for disappearing and indefinite detention, and demonization and delegitimization too, M is for mistaravim shooting downed protestors, O is for occupation without end, R is for routine raids on innocent houses in sleeping villages, S is for skunk-water sprayed on protestors, and for soldiers shooting blindfolded prisoners too, T is for tear gas and rubber bullets aimed at the heads of peaceful protesters….”

        Reply to Comment
      • Lewis from Afula

        Those expulsions of Jews don’t count, Mark.
        According to 972 mag:
        Arabs = Goood
        Jews = Baaaad
        Got it ?

        Reply to Comment
        • tom

          @Yes, the Jordanians have expelled about 30 000 jews but compare to the 750 000 arabs expelled by the israelis it’s kind of a drop of water. Plus, they all have been compensated, but not the palestinians.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Jane Carter

      Shame they didn’t demand the state when the Arabs had the territory between 48 and 67

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        The inanity of this is revealed by turning it around: Shame the Jews didn’t demand a state before the Holocaust. But the other propaganda narrative it inserts and hopes we won’t notice is it’s implication that Palestinian Arabs don’t now still “have” the territory. They do. They are still there and always have been. It just that Israeli Jews are relentlessly stealing it from them. You see the difference. Israel doesn’t “have” the territory except as it illegally occupies and settles it with civilians transferred in illegally.

        Reply to Comment
        • Mark

          I understood the Jews were indeed trying to get a state prior to the holocaust.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Shame they didn’t demand it (to channel Jane’s thinking).

            Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            To the idiot, Ben:
            The Jews did demand their state before WW2 but the Brits (and their Arab buddies) prevented its creation.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            To the genocidal Lewis: Things are never as simple as you make them out to be. That was the point and you missed it. And that’s not my problem.


            “…Finally, there were the troubling facts about Palestine. The Arabs were the majority community, and had been for well over a millennium. Palestinians were a recognizable separate people with their own institutions, traditions and cultural uniqueness. Yet, Zionists were proposing not only to deny Arabs their Wilsonian right of self-determination-a cherished U.S. ideal-but to displace them as the major ethnic group. It was clear to nearly all observers that this could happen only by force, yet it was equally obvious that war and instability in the region were not in America’s interests….”

            Reply to Comment
    3. Chaz Hoosier

      Reading Israeli op/eds has been incredibly dispiriting. I just read half of Jewish Israelis want to ethnically cleanse all Palestinians from the West Bank. God is ashamed of all this.

      Reply to Comment
      • Lewis from Afula

        There is no such thing as “fakestinyans”.
        These people living in Judea & Samaria are JORDANIANS.
        They simply re-named themselves after they lost their 6 day war (1967).
        To call these people “fakestinyans” is simply buying the lie that they are NOT the ones who attempted to liquidate us in 1967.

        The only rational response is to repatriate the lot of them.
        Their relatives are waiting for them in Amman.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Ben

      Artwashing didn’t work so Lewis got a contract for moronwashing?

      The video out to entice tourists to Eurovision has an incredibly off-key, strained, desperately hand-waving/trying-to-distract (from reality) quality, with bad jokes in poor taste. I think it is really bad. A flop. But in its own trying-too-hard way it is revealing. Says a lot. About what Israel doesn’t want you to see.

      Greedy Jews, Occupation, and ‘Lovely Bitches’: Israel’s Eurovision Video Pushes Limits and Draws Fire
      The video, meant to be a satirical advertisement for tourists coming to Israel, sparked immediate controversy for its anti-Semitic and insensitive elements

      Reply to Comment
    5. Roy m

      No mention of 1000 missiles launched on israeli cities and civilians, no mention of 100+ terror attacks by palestinians against jews, no mention of innocent jewish families being murdered by muslim palestinian terror. Nakba? Yeah, palestinians tried to butcher all of the jews and lost the war, they call that loss nakba, not succeeding to murder millions of jews.
      They whitewash their crazy terrorist history.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        There’s always someone who wants to try this “no mention of…” technique. The author also did not mention myriad crimes against Palestinians. The author also did not mention the routine terror of the Occupation. Please read a real history book, not your falsified propaganda cartoon version of it and of what is meant by ”nakba.”

        Reply to Comment