Pop star Lorde said she is considering canceling her upcoming concert in Tel Aviv following criticism from pro-Palestinian Arab fans in her native New Zealand, JTA reported Friday.
New Zealanders Nadia Abu-Shanab and Justine Sachs, a Palestinian Arab and a Jew, wrote an open letter on Thursday on the website The Spinoff saying that Lorde’s scheduled performance in Israel “sends the wrong message.”
“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,” they claimed.
In response, the 21-year-old singer wrote on Twitter that she is now “considering all options.”
"Noted! Been speaking with many people about this and considering all options. Thank you for educating me. I am learning all the time too,” she wrote.
Jewish New Zealand film and TV writer Dane Giraud wrote a subsequent essay on The Spinoff, arguing that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel damages the peace process.
“[Abu-Shanab and Sachs] assert that the situation in the Middle East is ‘actually quite straightforward.’ But that is to reduce complexity to a placard, to skate over a studied consideration of a long and turbulent history,” Giraud wrote, according to JTA.
“That leads to the reductive idea that ‘exclusion’ is the answer – the collective punishment of Israelis, 1.5 million Arabs included, through campaigns that seek to deny them participation in the world community,” added Giraud.
Foreign artists who seek to perform in Israel are under constant pressure from BDS activists to cancel their shows.
Much of this pressure comes from former Pink Floyd frontman and notorious anti-Israel activist Roger Waters.
In addition, the former Pink Floyd frontman has in the past compared Israel to Nazi Germany, saying in an interview, “The situation in Israel/Palestine, with the occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is unacceptable.”
He previously released a giant balloon pig bearing the Star of David during a concert in Belgium. Concert-goers said the Jewish star was among several symbols representing various corporations and fascist movements.
Most recently, Waters clashed with Australian rocker Nick Cave, who resisted boycott calls and went ahead with his Israel show and even criticized the BDS movement.
Waters later fired back and told Cave that the boycott of Israel “isn’t about music – it’s about human rights.”
In addition to Cave, Radiohead played in Tel Aviv this past July, defying boycott calls. Popular rhythm and blues artist Alicia Keys and pop duo Pet Shop Boys are among the artists who have also performed in Israel in recent years, amid calls to cancel their show.
At the same time, several popular musicians, such as Elvis Costello and Lauryn Hill, have cancelled past concerts in Israel following pressure from BDS.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)