Lorde Reuters

Israel’s Ambassador to New Zealand has invited pop star Lorde for a discussion about Israel, following her cancellation of a planned performance in Tel Aviv in the face of pressure from the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement.

News that 21-year-old pop star Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, who goes by the stage name Lorde, had cancelled her June concert in Tel Aviv came on Sunday, days after BDS activists in her native New Zealand criticized her. Israeli concert organizers announced the cancellation and said ticket sales would be refunded.

A day after the cancellation, Lorde said that she had made the “right decision” by cancelling the performance.

“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,” she said.

“I pride myself on being an informed young citizen, and I had done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions before deciding to book a show in Tel Aviv, but 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,” added Lorde.

In an open letter posted on Facebook, Israel’s Ambassador to New Zealand, Dr. Itzhak Gerberg, called Lorde’s cancellation “regrettable,” noting that she had “disappointed all [her] fans in Israel.”

“Music is a wonderful language of tolerance and friendship, which brings people together,” Gerberg wrote. “Your concert in Israel could have spread the message that solutions come from constructive engagement that leads to compromise and cooperation. Music should unite not divide and your performance in Israel could have contributed to the spirit of hope and peace in the Middle East.”

“Boycott and hate on the other hand, represents hostility and intolerance, and I was sorry to see that you have succumbed to the supporters of the small fanatic group, the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) movement, that denies the right of the State of Israel to exist and spreads hatred and animosity.

“I invite you to meet me in person to discuss Israel, its achievements and its role as the only democracy in the Middle East,” the Ambassador concluded.