Displaying the Palestinian flag during the recap of the acts, Iceland’s Hatari ruffled more than a few feathers. Indeed, it prompted swathes of online commentators to demand that Eurovision remain apolitical. Should that be so — is it best — is it even possible?
The world’s eyes were diverted to a single issue, in a second. This “human rights” salute brought the fact of racism and public lynchings to light for everyone, not just those in political circles. And think, more recently, of Kaepernick’s “unpatriotic” act, in 2016, of kneeling during the national anthem, which sparked a series of supportive actions. Acts like this, of silent protest, by players of international fame, give voice to the voiceless by deflecting the audience’s attention. It refocuses the public lens, and in doing so peacefully ruffles high feathers. Shockwaves throughout America.
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A step by step account of what it was like for us, being held at Israeli immigration, at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, for five hours. And it might happen to you, too.
Sat nearby was a French woman, heavily pregnant. She was distraught. She had spoken on the phone with a man we presumed to be her partner, and was sobbing loudly, inconsolably. We did what we could to comfort her but our words were useless. She then called her advisor, or lawyer, who required to speak with the immigration desk. The security personnel refused to even look at her, let alone talk to her — they would not tell her how to get the information her advisor required. When I suggested to one of them that it might be easiest if they just speak to the advisor directly, I was told, ‘It might be easiest if you sit down and be quiet’. It was shocking. It was a blatant display of collective disregard for this heavily pregnant woman’s emotional state. There was nothing. This went on for 45 minutes.
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