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Palestinian singer snubs Dubai Expo invite over Israel ties – The New Arab

Palestinian singer Dalal Abu Amna has snubbed an invitation to the Dubai Expo 2020 over the United Arab Emirates’ ties with Israel.
The singer, who says she declined many other official invitations to perform in the UAE, refused to perform at the six-month long world fair due to the country’s “persistence in ignoring the feelings and rights of the Palestinian people”, according to a statement on her Facebook page
In her post, Abu Amna made reference to Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s attendance at the exhibition, where he delivered a speech on Monday and was welcomed with the Israeli national anthem. Herzog became the first ever Israeli head of state to visit the UAE.
“This rejection was done out of our duty to take a clear position against everything that contradicts… the Palestinian cause,” Abu Amna’s statement read.

The singer said that her decision stemmed from personal convictions that she does not impose on anyone, and said she supported every artist’s freedom to determine their career path according to their “personal principles, and the human values ​​on which they were raised”.
Abu Amna stated she would welcome future invitations from other events in the UAE that do not clash with her beliefs, in order to continue to raise awareness of the Palestinian cause and “keep it alive in the souls of the honourable”.
The UAE was the first Gulf state to normalise relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords – an agreement brokered by the US – in 2020.
During his speech at Dubai Expo 2020, the Israeli president boasted of the results of Israeli-Emirati cooperation, stating that “trade has exceeded over $1 billion, more than 120 agreements were signed and a $100 million (research and development) fund was established recently”, according to Reuters.
Herzog also noted that 250,000 Israelis had visited the UAE so far and that he hopes Emiratis will reciprocate as coronavirus restrictions are eased.
Public opinion surveys in the Arab world have shown sustained opposition to normalisation deals with Israel, which Palestinians say have rewarded Israel as it continues to occupy the West Bank and besiege the Gaza Strip.

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