New Zealand Singer Lorde Cancels Israel Show After BDS Pressure

Lorde axed her planned show in Tel Aviv after an open letter urged her to 'join the artistic boycott of Israel'

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Lorde at a fashion show in Paris, March 06, 2015.
Lorde at a fashion show in Paris, March 06, 2015.Credit: PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP
Itay Stern

New Zealand pop singer Lorde canceled her upcoming concert in Israel on Sunday after facing criticism from the BDS movement. The show was slated to take place at the Tel Aviv Convention Center on June 5.

The production company responsible for her show released a statement, saying: "Unfortunately, Lorde's concert planned for July has been cancelled. Refunds for concert tickets will be provided within 14 business days."

>>Lorde not the first to back BDS: Eight other musicians who boycotted Israel

The Palestine Info Center, a news website associated with Hamas, tweeted that Lorde's "refusal to whitewash Israeli occupation and its crimes and human rights violation is called humanity and sanity," and added that she did the right thing.

Others condemend the decision, noting that Lorde had performed twice in Moscow, and saying that Russia is the country primarily responsible for the massacre and civil war taking place in Syria. Other tweets said that Lorde's decision was based on anti-Semitic sentiment.

On Friday, the "Royals" singer replied to an open letter, published on New Zealand website The Spinoff on Thursday, asking her to "join the artistic boycott of Israel" by pulling out of her upcoming performance in Tel Aviv. 

"Noted! Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too," the 21-year-old wrote on Twitter.

Jewish New Zealander Justine Sachs and Palestinian New Zealander Nadia Abu-Shanab argued in their letter that "playing in Tel Aviv will be seen as giving support to the policies of the Israeli government, even if you make no comment on the political situation."

"Such an effect cannot be undone by even the best intention and the best music," they added.

Lorde has faced criticism from fans since announcing on Tuesday that her "Melodrama" world tour on would conclude with a show in Tel Aviv on June 5.
On Thursday, New Zealand was among 128 nations at the UN to denounce US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.  

Artists who have participated in the cultural boycott of Israel through the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement include Brian Eno and Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, writers Arundhati Roy and Eduardo Galeano and film-maker Ken Loach.

BDS proponents criticized Radiohead ahead of its concert in Tel Aviv in July. The British band proceeded with the show, playing its longest set in 10 years to almost 50,000 people.  

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