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December 25, 2017 12:23 pm

Jewish Groups, Music Industry Execs Criticize Lorde’s ‘Deeply Disappointing’ Cancellation of Upcoming Israel Concert Due to BDS Pressure

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Lorde. Photo: Instagram.

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.”

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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.”

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  • Theo Anonis

    Sure. Go ahead. I”m sure you likely don’t have any Lordes albums in your collection anyway.

  • Theo Anonis

    In my opinion, this has less to do with Lordes failings as an artist or implied social activism, but it has alot to do with the success of the BDS movement steering away another artist from the state that is currently under the thumb of a number fascist political parties cooperating with Netanyahu.

    This will be spun as anti-semitism, or anti-zionism as the boring and typical knee-jerk reaction to criticism of Israel.

    Lordes is free to express her opposition to the policies of any government, if she chooses. And it seems to me that she HAS chosen.

    So why is this an issue?

  • Paul

    Maybe she should go sing in Iran.
    She should not be allowed to appear in Israel in the future unless she apologizes.
    Isn’t the world getting sick and tired of this hypocrisy and hate ?

  • jongnagy

    “Thomas Friedman wrote that President-elect Trump is letting himself being manipulated by right wing extremists…”

    In his NY Times column Thomas Friedman calls BDS “The Third Intifada,” (Feb 4, 2014)

    He states: “But this Third Intifada [BDS] isn’t really led by Palestinians… It’s led by the European Union…”

    Just a week before Omar Barghouti in a Times Op-Ed “Why Israel Fears the Boycott” (Jan 31, 2014) stated that

    “Israel seems as terrified by the “exponential” growth of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (or B.D.S.)…

    And Barghouti again, “Begun in 2005 by the largest trade union federations and organizations in Palestinian society…”

    This Palestinian anti-Semitic movement is masterfully orchestrated only toward Israel.

    Not a peep about public executions (Iran)
    murdering and gassing of its own unarmed citizens (Syria),
    public executions and women’s rights (Saudi Arabia),
    killing of Christian followers (North Korea),
    unpunished gang rapes (India),
    killing of reporters and Fatah members (Gaza)
    human rights abuses (China and Tibet),
    crackdown of gays, aggression in the Ukraine (Russian), etc.

    Watch rap star “Ari Lesser Boycott” Israel:

    Over 20 of ASA members have disassociated themselves from this stance and over 200 universities—including Harvard and Yale—so far, have rejected its stance as antithetical to academic freedom.

    The ASA group’s president at the University of California, Curtis Marez, said, “one has to somewhere.”

    This is the impure, unadulterated, classical academic anti-Semitism.