Kiwi pop singer Lorde cancels show in Israel after open letter from fans

Kiwi pop singer Lorde is cancelling a show in Israel after her New Zealand fans urged her to do so, according to a reporter from the Jerusalem Post.

In an open letter, two women urged Lorde to reconsider the scheduled show in Tel Aviv, saying it had been a “difficult time for Palestinians”. 

The young women, one Jewish and one Palestinian, said they urged Lorde to “act in the spirit of progressive New Zealanders who came before you and continue their legacy”.

“In 2017, Lorde, reignite the spirit of 1981 and show the world that New Zealanders are the progressive forward-thinking people we say we are. Please join the artistic boycott of Israel, cancel your Israeli tour dates and make a stand. Your voice will join many others and together we can and will make a difference.”

The women said the weeks before Lorde’s tour announcement had been a “difficult time for Palestinians … particularly after the Trump administration’s decision to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, better known by her stage name Lorde, is a New Zealand singer-songwriter and record producer.In response to the letter, Lorde said in a Tweet that she was “considering all options”.

Activists against Israel’s control of Palestine have been trying to stop musicians from touring Israel.

Lorde announced last week that she would perform in Tel Aviv mid-2018. She was immediately met with a backlash online.

New Zealand’s own Palestinian Solidarity Network has called the move by Kiwi singer “unwise”.

“We as a Palestinian support group feel it’s entirely inappropriate for Lorde to be supporting the breaking of the boycott,” Palestinian Solidarity Network spokesperson Janfrie Wakim said.

The pro-Palestinian movement, called Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), has launched many campaigns to stop famous musicians from playing in Israel. The group calls for the “freedom, justice and equality” of Palestinians under Israeli control.

Lorde poses with her six Vodafone Music Awards at the 2017 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

Last month, Australia singer Nick Cave was criticised by the BDS campaigners for performing in Tel Aviv. He hit out against the critics, saying they were trying to bully musicians.

Radiohead also went ahead with its Tel Aviv show despite criticism in July.

The group was supported by the likes of Pink Floyd star Roger Waters and filmmaker Ken Loach, who also layered criticism upon Radiohead.

In Tel Aviv, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke fired back at his famous critics saying they had played in Israel for more than 20 years – as well as other controversial nations.

“We don’t endorse (Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu any more than (US leader Donald) Trump, but we still play in America,” he said.


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