“I can’t even imagine the monitoring and suppression the Palestinian people are facing on a daily basis,” the dancer said.
Rabat – Madonna made shockwaves at this year’s Eurovision in Tel Aviv when her backup dancers displayed Palestinian and Israeli flags on their costumes.
The dancer who donned the Palestinian flag, Norwegian-Moroccan Mona Bernstein, was allegedly interrogated by airport security for over an hour. The dancer took to Instagram to explain the tense situation that unfolded in the hours that followed the performance. However, the post was swiftly deleted.
It is important to note that Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv routinely operates strict passport control, and extensively questions all travelers boarding flights out of Israel in the manner they did Bernstein.
The post read: “Thank you Madonna for having me as part of your statement, and for having me carry the Palestinian flag in front of the hundreds and millions of viewers. Unfortunately, the suppression in the West Bank is real.”
“The hours following yesterday’s show have been intense, but never had I imagined feeling monitored in the way I was,” Bernstein explained.
Israeli authorities reportedly proceeded to thoroughly interrogate Bernstein for an hour and a half.
The questions ranged from “Having to tell my whole life story, my reasons for having traveled to Arabic countries throughout my life, my religious relations, my family matters, showing my detailed daily schedules for my stay,” to “having to explain exactly what I did and where I went last time I was in Jerusalem three years ago.”
“All presumably for carrying a flag as part of a performance making a statement about a current conflict, to promote peace, unity, and freedom.”
“I can’t even imagine the monitoring and suppression the Palestinian people are facing on a daily basis,” the dancer added.
Eurovision has been marred by controversy and protests this year due to their choice of Israel as a host country, with many public figures calling for a boycott of the event. Icelandic group Hatari made a similar gesture to Madonna’s, raising Palestinian flags during their appearance at the competition in Israel, causing audible gasps.
Palestinian Campaign For The Academic And Cultural Boycott Of Israel (PACBI) released a statement in response to the gestures, saying the most meaningful thing the performers could have done is boycott the event completely and the gesture “cannot offset the harm they do to our human rights struggle by balancing their complicit act with some project with the Palestinians.”