Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lorde has canceled her upcoming June concert in Tel Aviv, Israeli media has reported.
The decision comes days after the 21-year-old New Zealander was called on by two of her compatriots active in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement to cancel the show in protest of the Israeli government’s ill-treatment of Palestinians.
On Sunday, Israeli news site YNET reported that the local organizers in charge of putting on the show announced the cancellation in a statement.
“We regret to announce the cancellation of the Lorde concert in Israel planned for June. The tickets already bought will be reimbursed within 14 business days. As to the circumstances that led to the cancellation of the show, Lorde is expected to publish a statement via Twitter soon,” the organizers told YNET’s Ami Friedman.
Soon after, Lorde released a statement confirming the news, as reported by Amy Spiro of The Jerusalem Post.
OK I'll keep going: Elton John, Morrissey, One Republic, James Blunt, Boy George, Robbie Williams, Queen featuring Adam Lambert, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Rod Stewart. Who wants to guess how many I was at?
— Amy Spiro (@AmySpiro) December 24, 2017
On Thursday, activists Nadia Abu-Shanab, of Palestinian descent, and Justine Sachs, who’s Jewish, co-wrote a letter calling on Lorde to forego playing in Israel as a protest against the country’s expansionist policies in the West Bank and reported human rights violations:
“Today, millions of people stand opposed to the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, ethnic cleansing, human rights violations, occupation, and apartheid. As part of this struggle, we believe that an economic, intellectual and artistic boycott is an effective way of speaking out against these crimes.”
Abu-Shanab and Sachs go on to argue that Lorde’s performance would essentially be an endorsement of the Israeli government.
“Playing in Tel Aviv will be seen as giving support to the policies of the Israeli government, even if you make no comment on the political situation. Such an effect cannot be undone by even the best intention and the best music.”
The “Royals” singer responded on Twitter soon after, saying the letter was “noted” and that she was “considering all options.”
— Joönî Revånche (@jonnoxrevanche) December 21, 2017
Jewish Voices for Peace, a progressive political organization in support of the BDS movement, celebrated the move, tweeting, “#BDS WIN!”
(Newsweek, PC, Social Media)