Jesus, St Catharine’s, Lucy Cavendish and Homerton colleges decided to cancel the pre-planned screeningsMichael Doherty,, via Wikimedia Commons

Multiple colleges’ JCRs and MCRs cancelled their planned Eurovision watch parties on Saturday (12/05) following student concerns over Israel’s inclusion in the show.

Jesus, St Catharine’s, and Lucy Cavendish colleges decided to cancel the pre-planned screenings, whose parties were set to have prizes for the best costumes and themed cocktails.

Homerton College also did not hold its annual screening, although no communications were made with students regarding a decision.

Thousands of individuals and organisations had also called for a boycott of the song contest in protest of Israel’s involvement in the Israel-Gaza war.

The move comes as pro-Palestinian protesters at the university entered their second week camping on the lawn outside King’s College to demonstrate against the University's financial ties to the conflict in Gaza.

A member of Lucy Cavendish’s JCR said they cancelled the College’s watch party because it was not “the right background for a welfare event,” and claimed that they wanted “to hold inclusive and thoughtful events”.

This was echoed by a spokesperson for Jesus College’s MCR, who said: “We, as a committee, strive to foster an inclusive environment in which all postgraduate students feel welcome, and we encourage any MCR members with concerns to raise them with one of the MCR welfare team or another committee member.”

Students from across the colleges expressed conflicting views at changes made to the celebrations of the beloved song competition.

A Catz student said that they “completely support the decision” and told Varsity that they “think a lot of people at Catz feel the same” and that they “all wanted to support the boycott in any way that [they] could”.

However, a Jesus College student labelled the decision “quite literally the opposite of inclusivity” on the college’s anonymous facebook group, JFess.

Cambridge University Jewish Society said they are “unable to make judgement on these colleges’ decision to cancel their Eurovision watch parties” due to their pronounced status as an “apolitical society”.

“We strive to prioritise the welfare of our members and continue to offer well-being support for anyone distressed by current events,” they continued.

Eurovision said that it has maintained a stance of strict political neutrality ever since its formation in 1956 with the aim of promoting collaboration among national broadcasters.

The European Broadcasting Union, the producers of the competition, maintained its defence not to bar Israel, saying it is “not a competition between governments”.

“We urge everyone to engage in respectful and constructive dialogue and support the artists who are working tirelessly – on what is a music and entertainment show – to share their music with the world,” it said.

Jesus, St Catharine’s, Lucy Cavendish and Homerton colleges were contacted for comment.