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Posted: December 25, 2017

Lorde cancels concert in Israel amid criticism

Lorde presents Peking Duck with the ARIA for Song of The Year during the 31st Annual ARIA Awards 2017 at The Star on November 28, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images for ARIA)
Zak Kaczmarek
Lorde presents Peking Duck with the ARIA for Song of The Year during the 31st Annual ARIA Awards 2017 at The Star on November 28, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images for ARIA)

By Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

New Zealand crooner Lorde has canceled a planned show in Tel Aviv amid pressure from activists who oppose the Israeli occupation of Palestine, according to multiple reports.

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Lorde planned to perform in Tel Aviv on June 5, 2018, according to news.com.au.

She said in a statement obtained Sunday by The Jerusalem Post that she got “an overwhelming number of messages (and) letters and … had a lot of discussions with people holding many views” before making her decision to cancel the performance.

“I think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show,” the statement said. “I'm not too proud to admit I didn't make the right call on this one. 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.”

The announcement came after a pair of New Zealanders wrote an open letter to Lorde asking her to reconsider her decision to perform in Tel Aviv.

The letter, published last week on TheSpinOff.co.nz, was penned by Justine Sachs, who is Jewish, and Nadia Abu-Shanab, who is Palestinian.

“Today, millions of people stand opposed to the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, ethnic cleansing, human rights violations, occupation and apartheid,” the letter said. “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.”

The pair urged Lorde to “act in the spirit of progressive New Zealanders who came before you and continue their legacy,” by canceling her show.

Lorde acknowledged the letter last week in a tweet and said she was "considering all options."

Some fans praised Lorde’s decision, while others decried it. Miri Regev, Israel's culture minister, urged Lorde to rethink the cancellation.

“Lorde, I’m hoping you can be a ‘pure heroine’ like the title of your first album,” Miri Regev said in a statement obtained by The Guardian. “To be a heroine of pure culture, free from any foreign – and ridiculous – political considerations.”

Lorde was not the first performer pressured to cancel a planned appearance in Israel by pro-Palestinian activists. According to the country’s Ynetnews, Elvis Costello and Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore have canceled shows in Israel amid criticism. Rock band Radiohead was also urged to cancel a show last summer in Tel Aviv but went through with the performance after corresponding with critics, Ynetnews reported.


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