Madonna, on Eurovision, says she won't bow 'to suit someone's political agenda'

A Jerusalem Municipality ad for the Eurovision festival at the First Station

Madonna's performance at the Eurovision Song Contest has been thrown into doubt by organisers, who say she has yet to sign a contract for the show.

Seventeen worldwide acts will take to the stage on Tuesday night but only 10 will make it to the 26-strong grand final on Saturday.

But the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) - part of a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS) - said in a statement that "true solidarity means heeding the call of the oppressed".

"Everyone is excited in my team".

But Eurovision said the EBU was still negotiating with the artist.

Finish DJ Darude said artists behind the scenes of the festival were "slapping high-fives and having a good time".

During demonstrations for the rights of Palestinians between 30 March and 19 November a year ago, Israeli forces stationed on the Israeli side of the fence separating Gaza and Israel were found to have used excessive and lethal force on protesters, killing 189, 31 of which were children and three medical workers. But a ceasefire that went into effect a week ago has been holding.

The singer released a statement to CNN today where she said that she would not stop performing music "to suit someone's political agenda", but added that she would continue to speak out against human rights violations.

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The pop star is due to appear on Saturday May 18 and is expected to perform two songs, including a classic track and a new single.

Neil Farren, a Eurovision commentator live-blogging contest preparations in Tel Aviv, said the visibly heightened security and briefings on air raid sirens and bomb shelters likely rattled some contenders, who have so far remained tight-lipped about the political situation.

"But for that we need to have the framework secured. I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this awful cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace", the statement continued.

Australian contestant Kate Miller-Heidke is through to the finals.

The venue has prompted calls for a boycott by pro-Palestinian activists who want companies, performers and governments to disengage from Israel.

This year's contest is being held in Israel after the country's entry - Netta's song Toy - won the 2018 edition.

Tel Aviv was confirmed as the host city for this year's 64th Eurovision Song Contest last September.

Madonna has performed in Israel three times: in 1993, 2009, and 2012, and has made frequent private visits to the country, drawn by her attraction to Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism.

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