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Cinema in trendy Dalston put under investigation by The Charity Commission after it vowed to boycott screening this year’s Eurovision Song Contest final over Israel’s participation

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The Charity Commission will investigate a cinema in East London, after it vowed to boycott this year’s Eurovision Song Contest final over Israel‘s participation in the contest.

In a letter to Conservative MP Michael Ellis, The Charity Commission admitted that Rio Cinema’s behaviour appears to be ‘concerning’ and that they had also ‘received concerns from members of the public.’

Head of Compliance Joshua Farbridge added that The Charity Commission would be launching a ‘regulatory compliance case’ into the charity to assess whether there had been ‘wrongdoing’.

It comes after politicians and Jewish organisations wrote to the Charity Commission amidst concerns that its decision to snub the contest contravenes the Charity Commission’s rules as well as the charities own stated principles.

In a letter to the Charity Commission Conservative MP Michael Ellis condemned the cinema for snubbing a ‘popular international music competition because the only Jewish nation is competing.’

The Charity Commission will investigate the Rio Cinema (pictured) in East London , after it vowed to boycott this year's Eurovision Song Contest final over Israel's participation

The Charity Commission will investigate the Rio Cinema (pictured) in East London , after it vowed to boycott this year’s Eurovision Song Contest final over Israel’s participation

Eden Golan, Israel's representative for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo sings during the final stage of 'Rising Star', the Israeli Eurovision national selection show, in Neve Ilan, Israel on February 6

Eden Golan, Israel’s representative for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo sings during the final stage of ‘Rising Star’, the Israeli Eurovision national selection show, in Neve Ilan, Israel on February 6

The statement issued by the Rio Cinema announcing they would not screen Eurovision this year due to Israel taking part in it

The statement issued by the Rio Cinema announcing they would not screen Eurovision this year due to Israel taking part in it

In a letter to Conservative MP Michael Ellis (pictured), The Charity Commission admitted that Rio Cinema's behaviour appears to be 'concerning' and that they had also 'received concerns from members of the public.'

In a letter to Conservative MP Michael Ellis (pictured), The Charity Commission admitted that Rio Cinema’s behaviour appears to be ‘concerning’ and that they had also ‘received concerns from members of the public.’

He added: ‘It sadly does not appear to me that the charity is acting within the charitable objectives in its governing documents.

‘The behaviour of this charity is an intolerable affront to the Jewish community.’

Responding to the letter Sir Michael Ellis: ‘It is right that the Charity Commission are investigating Rio Cinema Dalston.

‘This is a concerning case. It is very important that all charities adhere to the proper principles and guidelines laid down by the Charity Commission.’

According to the Articles of Association which incorporated Rio Cinema as a charity, the group must strive to ‘promote education (…) without distinction of sex or political, religious opinions.’

But last week Rio cinema in Dalston agreed not to screen the Grand Final of Eurovision ‘while Israel remains in the competition’ – an apparent contradiction to its stated aims.

In a statement published on social media the organisation said: Following discussion with the organisers of Eurovision Party London, we have collectively decided not to screen the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest.

‘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

‘We will continue to organise fundraising events for the charities we support, including Doctors Without Borders and Medical Aid for Palestine.’

This row comes after Israel was forced to edit the title and lyrics of its song, after weeks of wrangling, amidst concerns that its song was too political for the contest.

This row comes after Israel was forced to edit the title and lyrics of its song, after weeks of wrangling, amidst concerns that its song 'October Rain' was too political for the contest

This row comes after Israel was forced to edit the title and lyrics of its song, after weeks of wrangling, amidst concerns that its song ‘October Rain’ was too political for the contest

Eurovision this year will take place from May 7 to May 11 in the Swedish city of Malmo

Eurovision this year will take place from May 7 to May 11 in the Swedish city of Malmo

Originally titled ‘October Rain’ The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) rejected the entry, ruling that the lyrics such as ‘they were all good children, each one of them’ were references to the deadly October 7 terrorist attack.

Now called ‘Hurricane’ the accepted piano ballad tells the story of a woman enduring a personal crisis.

Israel’s singer, 20-year-old Eden Goland said: ‘I ended up [representing Israel] in a not simple year.

‘But on the other hand, I even more so want to represent the country this year, because of its meaning – it has a totally different significance.’

Israel has won the apolitical Eurovision song contest four times since it joined in 1973.

But some left wing groups have called for Israel to be disqualified due to the ongoing war in the region and the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

Rio Cinema has been contacted for comment.



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