Jewish Groups, Music Industry Execs Criticize Lorde’s ‘Deeply Disappointing’ Cancellation of Upcoming Israel Concert Due to BDS Pressure
A number of Jewish groups and entertainment industry executives have expressed criticism of New Zealand singer Lorde after she cancelled an upcoming concert in Israel due to pressure she received from supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
Juliet Moses — a spokesperson for the New Zealand Jewish Council — said in a statement that the group was “deeply disappointed that Lorde has succumbed to a small but loud group of extremist bullies.”
“By cancelling her show,” Moses added, “Lorde has sided with those who support the isolation and demonization of the one Jewish state in the world. She has ignored the moderate voices, including the vast majority of Jewish Kiwis, who believe in dialogue and co-existence, and the leading musicians like Radiohead, Nick Cave, Guns N Roses and Justin Bieber who have performed in Tel Aviv in the last year.”
Moses also noted that although the 21-year-old singer was still scheduled to perform in Russia, “no one accuses her of complicity with Putin, the occupation of the Crimea or chemical warfare in Syria.”
The “Royals” singer announced on Sunday her decision to nix her scheduled June 5 Tel Aviv show, which was to be part of her “Melodrama” world tour.
Lorde said in a statement distributed on social media that she received “an overwhelming number of messages and letters” about the concert and, after discussing the situation with people holding many different views, she decided the “the right decision at the time” was to cancel the show.
“I pride myself on being an informed young citizen, and I have done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions before deciding to book a show in Tel Aviv, but I’m not proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one,” she addd. “Tel Aviv, 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. I hope one day we can all dance.”
On Monday, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said that by cancelling her show, Lorde “missed [a] chance to share her views with an Israeli audience and make an impact. Instead she (and BDS types who pressured her) are preventing interactions, learning and engagement, thereby deepening the conflict.”
Also “deeply disappointed” with Lorde were 49 entertainment industry executives who signed an open letter published by Creative Community for Peace, an entertainment industry advocacy organization. In the letter, the group blasted the singer for deciding to cancel her show rather than “rebuff the boycott movement and follow in the footsteps of Radiohead, Nick Cave, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, and many other artists who have chosen to build #BridgesNotBoycotts.”
The executives concluded the letter by saying that they, along with the more than 30,000 people who signed an anti-boycott petition, would continue to work toward peace between Israelis, Palestinians and the entire region, and that “art and music can and should be part of the solution.”