Organisers reveal Madonna's Eurovision performance is not yet confirmed

Eurovision week kicks off with glitz and glamor in Tel Aviv

"Inspired by conscientious artists who shunned Sun City in apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, Palestinian artists and cultural organizations have called for nonviolent pressure in the form of boycotts on Israel until it complies with its obligations under global law".

Google adwords including "boycott" and "Eurovision" lead users to a website, boycotteurovision.net, which praises Israel as "Beautiful, Diverse, Sensational", in a wordplay standing in for "boycott, divestment and sanctions".

Madonna issued a statement on Tuesday, ahead of her expected arrival in Tel Aviv for a performance at the Eurovision event.

Rebuffing the pressure, Madonna said she would "never stop playing music to suit someone's political agenda".

Madonna, 60, will stage two songs in Tel Aviv, including one from her forthcoming album Madame X, which is set to be released in June.

But politics and controversy, as well as security concerns, have threatened to overshadow the competition, especially after a flare up of violence between militants in Gaza and the Israeli Army last week.

Seventeen worldwide acts will take to the stage but only 10 will make it to the 26-strong grand final on Saturday May 18.

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Madonna, who has studied Kabbalah with the Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles, included Israel in her 2009 and 2012 world tours, and in 2004 took on the Hebrew name "Esther", although she has not formally converted to Judaism. "I'm really happy to be here", said Cypriot singer Tamta, the first artist to stroll the walkway flanked by visiting photographers and reporters.

"We have an artist who would like to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, and who we would love to welcome on that stage".

"I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this bad cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace", she added.

Hatari's performance came after Australia's Kate Miller-Heidke, another favourite to win.

It is unclear who was behind the attack, although some reports have speculated pro-Palestinian groups in Arab countries might have been involved.

Earlier this week Madonna confirmed she will bring her Madame X theatre tour to the United Kingdom next year.

In response to Madonna's statement, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel has responded, calling Eurovision an "artwashing" of "Israel's brutal oppression of Palestinians".

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