Lorde at the 2014 Sydney Laneway Festival [Photo Credit: Annette Geneva]
Lorde, 21-year-old the grammy-winning singer-songwriter from New Zealand recently announced the cancellation of her upcoming Tel Aviv show. Her announcement comes less than a week after she announced the show. Lorde cancelled her show following pressure from BDS activists. It was just a few days ago, when the singer-songwriter announced via Twitter that she had speaking with many people and “considering all options” regarding the Tel Aviv show. The reference was presumably to two of her compatriots, Nadia Abu-Shanab and Justine Sachs, who are active in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and who wrote wrote an open letter calling on Lorde to cancel the Tel Aviv show.
When the pressure became too much for the singer to bear, Lorde caved into the demands of BDS and BDS supporters from around the world and formally announced the cancellation of her show. Her response was taken and posted by Amy Spiro, a reporter for The Jerusalem Post.
— Amy Spiro (@AmySpiro) December 24, 2017
In reponse to Lorde’s politicized decision, a group called the Creative Community for Peace wrote the following statement, “we — the undersigned artists and entertainment industry executives — are deeply disappointed that Lorde canceled her show in Tel Aviv after receiving pressure from the radical boycott Israel movement. Artists should never become beholden to the political views of a small but loud minority. The boycott movement, while often painting itself as a movement for human rights, is actually a political movement ultimately aiming to extinguish the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Ignoring the many flaws in the other countries on Lorde’s world tour.. the movement singled out Israel — and only Israel — for a boycott.” You can see the full list of artists that signed the statement at the bottom of the statement.
Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev issued a statement calling on Lorde to reverse her cancellation: “Lorde, I’m hoping you can be a ‘pure heroine,’ like the title of your first album, be a heroine of pure culture, free from any foreign – and ridiculous – political considerations.”
Musicians that have played in Israel in addition to musicians that have made plans to play shows here have fallen prey to the vultures of the BDS movement. Of note are some of the courageous musicians who stood up to the BDS movement and played in Israel despite the pressure and backlash that was directed at them for deciding to play Israel. At a press gathering in Israel this past month, Australian rocker Nick Cave who was in Israel for 2 shows which he played in Tel Aviv went so far as to say, “I think there’s really two reasons why I’m here. One is that I love Israel and I love Israeli people. And two is to make a principled stand against anyone who tries to censor and silent musicians…and so you really could say in a way that the BDS movement made me play in Israel.”
One of the biggest names behind the BDS movement is Roger Waters, the front-man for Pink Floyd. Waters has and is vocal in both his support for the BDS movement and for his dissaproval for fellow musicians that have made up their minds to play shows in Israel. Most recently, Waters along with fellow British musician Brian Eno attempted to bully Australian musician Nick Cave into cancelling a Tel Aviv performance that the performer had already booked. In a powerful display of disapproval and defiance for Roger Waters and Co and for the BDS movement, Nick Cave told reporters during a press interview, “It suddenly became clear very important to me to make a stand against those who people that are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians and who are trying to silence musicians… In a way that the BDS movement made me play in Israel.”
This past month, thanks to pro-Israel activists lobbyists, German public broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) withdrew its sponsorship of an upcoming Roger Waters concert. The activists cited Roger Waters’ anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views, according to reports in German media.
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