Lorde cancels Israel concert after boycott calls

The singer Lorde has cancelled an upcoming show in Tel Aviv following calls from pro-Palestine campaigners advocating a boycott of Israel.

Advocates of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement asked the singer to reconsider the concert after it was announced on Twitter.

Before cancelling, she responded to a fan on Twitter to say she was “considering all options” about the performance.

The 20-year old pop star said she hopes to perform in the city in the future and that “one day we can all dance”.

Lorde’s decision comes as the United States announced it would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a highly controversial decision for other members of the United Nations.

She was scheduled to perform at the Tel Aviv Convention Centre on her Melodrama world tour next summer.

Explaining her decision, Lorde did not explicitly mention the BDS movement or tensions in the region.

The popstar told fans: “I pride myself on being an informed young citizen, and I had done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions before deciding to book a show in Tel Aviv, but I’m not too proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one.

“I’ve received an overwhelming number of messages & letters and have had a lot of discussions with people holding many views, and I think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show.

“It’s been a dream of mine to visit this beautiful part of the world for many years, and I’m truly sorry to reverse my commitment to come play for you.”

Israel’s culture minister, Miri Regev, said he hoped the decision would be reserved.

“Lorde, I’m hoping you can be a ‘pure heroine,’ like the title of your first album, be a heroine of pure culture, free from any foreign – and ridiculous – political considerations,” Mr Regev said.

The BDS campaign aims to achieve an end to what they see as Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land and the Golan Heights area of the Levant.

Artists who have similarly cancelled concerts in response to boycott calls include musicians Roger Waters and Brian Eno. The filmmaker Ken Loach also encouraged an artistic boycott of Israel.


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May 2021
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