The Cowardice of Lauryn Hill (UPDATE)
From hip-hop artist Lauryn Hill’s Facebook page:
Dear Friends and Fans in Israel,
When deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge. I’ve wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace. It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the upcoming performance in Israel, and seek a different strategy to bring my music to ALL of my fans in the region. May healing, equanimity, and the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation come to this region and its people.
Ms. Lauryn Hill
The concert was announced in the beginning of March and cancelled on Sunday, three days before it was to be performed.
What Hill didn’t say was that she was subject to a huge campaign to bully her into canceling the concert from the BDS crowd.
The excuse that she canceled because of the issue of not being able to perform in Ramallah is obviously a lie. If that was her intent all along, then she wouldn’t have announced the Tel Aviv concert until arrangements had been made for the Ramallah concert. Canceling a concert three days beforehand is a political statement whether she likes it or not. And it is a slap in the face of her Israeli fans.
Lauryn Hill didn’t have the honesty to say, like Salif Kelta did, that she was threatened by hundreds of haters. Her decision had nothing to do with “peace and justice” or logistics. After all, she performed in Israel in 2007 without worrying about any Ramallah performance.
On the other hand, she didn’t publicly embrace boycotting Israel, ,and she tried with this message to say that she still loves her Israeli fans.
The BDS crowd ignores that, and is calling their bullying tactics a victory. It is – because despite her pretense of canceling because she cares about her fans, she really did it to avoid being pilloried by professional haters who don’t want peace but want to see the Jewish state destroyed.
She can’t have it both ways. Her cancellation is more of a “source of alienation” to her fans than her performance would have been – no one is boycotting the many artists who have braved the threats and performed in Israel. She caved to haters and antisemites and didn’t have the honesty to admit it.
With this episode, Lauryn Hill showed herself to be nothing but a coward.
UPDATE: Dionne Warwick, who is performing in Israel this month, had a pointed response to Lauryn Hill:
A statement released to the press read that Ms. Warwick “would never fall victim to the hard pressures of Roger Waters, from Pink Floyd, or other political people who have their views on politics in Israel.”
“Waters’ political views are of no concern to Ms. Warwick, as she holds her own unique views on world matters. Art has no boundaries. Ms. Warwick will always honor her contracts,” the statement read.
“If Ms. Warwick had an objection to performing in Israel, no offer would have been entertained and no contract would have been signed,” the statement concluded.