Australia

Kate Miller-Heidke says 'everyone feels conflicted' by Israel backlash

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As Kate Miller-Heidke prepares to take to the Eurovision stage for this year's first semi-final, she says she and the other artists have felt the pressure about taking part in this year's politically fraught song contest.

Australian singer Kate Miller-Heidke says she is feeling the pressure as she prepares for this year's Eurovision song contest - but it's not because of her performance.

A high-profile boycott campaign has fired up, calling on Eurovision artists to pull out of the contest - to be held in Tel Aviv - due to Israel's treatment of Palestinian people.

In some cases, Miller-Heidke has been urged directly to drop out.

“I’m pretty sure all the artists have been experiencing the same pressures, the same kind of twitter extremism, I’ve spoken with some of the other artists, everyone feels conflicted by it, everyone feels under pressure," the singer told SBS News in Tel Aviv. 

“Since being here (in Israel), I’ve been even more sure about the value of open dialogue."

Miller-Heidke will take to the Eurovision stage for the first time on Wednesday as the first semi-final of the contest gets underway. 

SBS News's Ben Lewis is tweeting from Israel @benlewismedia

The Eurovision Grand Final will be held on Sunday 19 May at 5am (AEST) with an 8pm (AEST) replay on SBS Australia. It will also be streamed on SBS On Demand.

Head to the SBS Eurovision website for all the latest news from Tel Aviv.

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