While politicians in Tel Aviv claim the latest ceasefire deal with Hamas was at its own request, a concern that participants may not attend or even boycott Eurovision meant that Israel wanted hostilities to end quickly.

Many have wondered whether the recent ceasefire deal made between Hamas and Israel was to avert further escalation ahead of the upcoming Eurovision song contests.

The contest is being held in Israel for the first time and is an opportunity for the country to burnish its international standing as it is rapidly becomes the longest occupation in modern history.

The former Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, suggested he would like to see what is euphemistically known in Israel as “mowing the lawn,” which is the periodic acts of aggression carried out by Israel that often end in thousands of Palestinians civilians killed or injured.

But first, the show must go on.

“Right after our holidays and Eurovision, Israel must evict Hamas from Gaza. The US should back us militarily and diplomatically and, together with Arab states, commit to Gaza’s renewal,” he wrote on Twitter.

One online user asked, “Does anyone within #Gaza's #Hamas government seriously believe it is wise to attack #Israel with hundreds of rockets a few days ahead of the #EuroVision song contest in Tel Aviv?”

The 42-nation Eurovision song contest has long been identified by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (famously known by its acronym, BDS) as a key event to raise awareness about Israel’s flagrant international law violations.

Israeli commentators have been trying to spin the ceasefire as being sought by Hamas rather than due to the urgency of the upcoming Eurovision song contests.

“Hamas needed a ceasefire in place before the start of Ramadan and that was the catalyst for an agreement, not any Israeli need to protect the Eurovision song contest,” said Israeli commentator Ron Ben Yishai working for Yediot Aharonot, a daily newspaper closely affiliated with right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel is acutely aware of the fact that a prolonged assault on Gaza would damage its international standing and its attempts to portray Israel as a normal state. The latest attack began last Friday and resulted in the murder of several Palestinians.

Israeli government supporters have portrayed attempts to boycott the Eurovision song contest by international stars as “political war” on Israel.

And while Israel seems to have come to a negotiated solution after killing more than 24 Palestinians, including two pregnant women, the main impetus for doing so seems to have indeed been the Eurovision contest.

Vivian Bercovici‏, Israel’s former ambassador to Canada, confirmed that “the only reason everyone’s so exercised is because of Eurovision [sic].”

A further assault by Israel, however, cannot be ruled out. Far from being about the loss of Palestinian lives and the destruction of their livelihood, Israel’s attempts to control the PR war is more about how it would look given its past track record.

While the latest Israeli escalation has ended, recent history shows that when Israel feels it can get away with bombing Gaza without consequence, it will surely do so again.

Source: TRT World