Singer-songwriter and New Zealander Lorde has cancelled her planned concert in Israel. The decision to cancel the June concert came after an online campaign to stop Israeli occupation in Palestine. The singer cited she was receiving an overwhelming number of letters and messages from her fans asking her to reconsider her decision to play a show in Tel Aviv.
An Open Letter from New Zealand
Among those who had contacted her were fellow New Zealanders Nadia Abu-Shanab and Justine Sachs who wrote an open letter to the singer online asking her to cancel her Israel concert:
“We’re two young women based in Aotearoa, one Jewish, one Palestinian. Today, millions of people stand opposed to the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, ethnic cleansing, human rights violations, occupation and apartheid. As part of this struggle, we believe that an economic, intellectual and artistic boycott is an effective way of speaking out against these crimes. This worked very effectively against apartheid in South Africa, and we hope it can work again.”
On her social media, Lorde tweeted she was considering her options:
Noted! Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too 🌸
— Lorde (@lorde) December 21, 2017
On Sunday, she announced not to go ahead with the concert. She released a statement later explaining that she was confident in her decision to cancel the show and felt that she had not made the right decision in planning a show in Israel.
— Amy Spiro (@AmySpiro) December 24, 2017
Praised and Criticized
The Israeli cultural minister, Miri Regev, has asked Lorde to reconsider her decision. On social media, she has been denounced by pro-Israeli supporters. She is following behind the numerous other performers who have also cancelled performances in Israel, including Lauryn Hill, Radiohead and Elvis Costello.
In the aftermath of her decision, the singer garnered both praise and criticism on social media with the pro-Israel lobby organisation StandWithUs accusing Lorde of punishing Israel:
What a disappointment. Music should be enjoyed by all peoples, instead @lorde has encouraged a cultural ban of music on Israel. Lorde, do you really think punishing the people of #Israel is the right thing to do? How shameful. https://t.co/5Km0FXpnXF
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) December 24, 2017
Others praised her for staying politically alert:
BREAKING: @Lorde called off her TLV gig. Remarkable not coz she's most high-profile artists to do so recently, but also for calm, humble & dignified exchange she had w stakeholders in the conflict. If only all exchanges on BDS had that much mutual respect. https://t.co/x9U4sRGY49
— Dimi Reider (@reider) December 24, 2017