‘Anti Israel’ cinema that cancelled Eurovision occasion ought to lose charity standing, says MP | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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A cinema which cancelled its Eurovision Song Contest occasion as a result of Israel is likely one of the contestants ought to lose its charity standing, England’s former senior legislation officer has claimed.

Former Attorney General Sir Michael Ellis has written to the Charity Commission demanding that the Rio Centre in East London loses its charitable standing over “prejudice” towards Jewish folks.

Ironically, the cinema was based in 1909 by a Jewish girl known as Clara Ludski, the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Prussia.

But centre in Dalston declared that it could not maintain the Eurovision occasion in protest over the warfare in Gaza.

In his letter Sir Michael, the Conservative MP for Northampton North, stated: “This charity is boycotting a popular international music competition because the only Jewish nation is competing.

“Regardless of the views of any person, group, corporation or charity trustees on Israel-Gaza, it is incontrovertible that Israeli performers, singers and dancers have nothing to do with the conflict.”

He claimed that the boycott was hypocritical when contemplating the document of different individuals.

He stated: “This boycott is an expression of prejudice which as far as I am aware has not been applied to other countries during times of conflict. For example, Turkey, when they took part in Eurovision in the past, despite their conflict with the Kurds.

“It is worth noting that Turkey is reported to be taking part in this year’s interval performance at Eurovision. Belarus [an ally of Putin’s Russia] is another country which took part in Eurovision until 2019 and I am not aware of similar actions from this cinema then.”

He identified that the Charity Commission Guide stipulates that charities can solely get entangled in marketing campaign or political exercise so long as it helps their function and is of their greatest pursuits and are doing so throughout the legislation.

And he famous that the Rio Centre says in its targets that it exists “ to promote, maintain, improve and advance education of the public in Hackney and East London…by…encouragement of the arts…for the residents of the area aforesaid without distinction of sex or political, religious or other opinions and with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants.”

Sir Michael added: “In my opinion, the behaviour of this charity is an intolerable affront to the Jewish community and to the longstanding principles of prudence required of charities by law.”

The Rio Centre (Dalston) has not replied to a request from the Daily Express for a remark.

But in its preliminary announcement it stated: “It is with a heavy heart that we have collectively decided not to screen the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest this year.

“We firmly believe that the Eurovision Song Contest has the power to bring people together across the world, and when its core values of inclusivity, equality and universality are upheld, it can be a genuine force for good.”