Madonna defends decision to perform in Israel
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Madonna is defending her decision to perform in Israel this week.

“I’ll never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda, nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be,” the pop singer told Reuters on Tuesday.

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“My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict. I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace,” she added.

The venue for Eurovision Song Contest finals, Tel Aviv, has drawn criticism from pro-Palestinian activists who want people to disengage from Israel.

Israel is hosting Eurovision, which routinely attracts over 100 million viewers, because local singer Netta Barzilai won the contest last year.

Madonna, who performed in Israel in 2009 and 2012, is a follower of the mystical form of Judaism called Kabbalah, according to Reuters.