By Lauren Peterson
Rabat – Over the weekend, singer-songwriter Lorde has cancelled her concert in Tel Aviv, Israel amid pressure from pro-Palestinian activists, roughly a week after the concert’s announcement on December 18.
The concert was scheduled for June 5, 2018, at the Tel Aviv Convention Center as part of a world tour following the release of Lorde’s latest album, Melodrama, in June of this year.
In an open letter published on December 21 by New Zealand website The Spinoff, two guest writers, one Palestinian and one Jewish, although both from New Zealand, urged the singer to cancel her Tel Aviv performance.
“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. This worked very effectively against apartheid in South Africa, and we hope it can work again,” reads the letter.
In a response over Twitter, Lorde stated, “Noted! Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too.”
Noted! Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too ?
— Lorde (@lorde) 21 décembre 2017
In a statement issued Sunday, Lorde shared her final decision on the matter: “I’ve received an overwhelming number of messages and letters and have had a lot of discussions with people holding many views, and I think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show.”
Those sympathetic with the boycott, divestments, and sanctions movement (BDS) have shown overwhelming support of Lorde’s decision to drop Israel from her world tour. Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev, however, stated that he wishes Lorde would reconsider her decision.
The decision puts Lorde among artists such as the Pixies, Roger Waters, and Elvis Costello, who have similarly taken part in cultural protests of Israel.
According to the production company organizing the concert, tickets will be refunded within two weeks.