Lorde Cancels Israel Concert Amid Call for Cultural Boycott: ‘I Didn’t Make the Right Call’

Lorde
Lorde accepts the Song of the Year award for 'Royals' on stage at the 56th Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 26, 2014. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Lorde has canceled a scheduled concert in Tel Aviv, Israel, after activists called for her to join a growing boycott over the country’s human rights record.

“Hey guys, so about this Israel show — 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,” the two-time Grammy winner, 21, said in a statement on Sunday, December 24, via The Jerusalem Post.

“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,” she continued. “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 news came a week after two of Lorde’s fans in New Zealand, one of them Jewish and the other Palestinian, published an open letter on the website The Spinoff to ask the “Royals” singer to cancel her Israel show planned for June 5, 2018, citing the government’s “policies of oppression” and “apartheid.” The fans wrote that “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.”

Proponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement also called on Lorde to cancel the concert, joining artists including Lauryn Hill, Elvis Costello and Roger Waters. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel thanked Lorde in a statement on Twitter for “heeding appeals from your fans against Israel’s art-washing of its brutal oppression of Palestinians.”

The “Green Light” songstress faced some backlash, though. Israeli culture minister Miri Regev asked Lorde to reconsider her decision, saying in a statement to the Associated Press, “Lorde, I expect you to be a pure heroine, like the title of your first album.” Actress Roseanne Barr had a more blunt response on Twitter on Sunday evening: “Boycott this bigot.”

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