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Lorde Cancels Israel Concert Amid Criticism

Lorde Cancels Israel Concert Amid Criticism Promo Image

Award-winning musician Lorde has canceled a scheduled concert in Israel just days after it was announced, following a barrage of criticism from activists associated with the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. 

The show's Israeli promoter, Eran Arielli, announced the cancelation on Dec. 24 and apologized for raising the hopes of fans who wished to see the artist perform in Tel Aviv. 

"The truth is that I was naive to think that an artist of her age can withstand the pressure involved in coming to Israel, and I take full responsibility and ask the forgiveness of fans, admirers, and other dreamers," he wrote on Facebook, according to CNN. "I have no complaints about her, and beyond that, my opinion of her has not changed one millimeter." 

Lorde announced the show on Dec. 18 in a Twitter post that was immediately flooded with comments calling for her to cancel the show and stating the view that performing in Tel Aviv would be equal to endorsing the Israeli government. 

The opinions shared in those Twitter comments were summed up in a letter written by Jewish activist Justine Sachs and Palestinian activist Nadia Abu-Shanab.

In the letter, the two New Zealanders refer to the Israeli government's policies towards Palestine as "occupation and apartheid," reports CNN. 

"In this context, a performance in Israel sends the wrong message," they wrote. "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." 

Lorde, who is also from New Zealand, indicated she had read the letter by responding on Twitter. 

"Noted!" she wrote on Dec. 20. "Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too."

Many activists who called on Lorde to cancel the show are part of the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions movement -- known as BDS -- which seeks to culturally isolate and use nonviolent means to bring around the end of Israel's occupation of Palestine.

Artists including Lauryn Hill, Roger Waters and Elvis Costello have previously canceled shows in Israel amid similar circumstances, according to CNN. 

After the cancelation was announced, the Israeli ambassador to New Zealand invited Lorde to speak with him about BDS and Israel's policies. 

"By succumbing to the hateful agenda of the few who support #BDS you encourage animosity in the region," Ambassador Yitzhak Gerberg wrote on Facebook, according to The Jerusalem Post. "Music should unite not divide. Reactions driven by hatred lead to continued #conflict."

Lorde's decision also drew an attack from actress Roseanne Barr who tweeted, "Boycott this bigot," with a link to an article about the cancelation. 

"Don't excuse jew hating bigots, bc that makes you one," Barr later tweeted.

Sources: CNN, Lorde/Twitter (2), The Jerusalem Post, Rosanne Barr/Twitter (2) / Featured Image: Krists Luhaers/Flickr / Embedded Images: Krists Luhaers/Flickr (2)

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