Israel's ambassador to New Zealand appeals to Lorde over canceled Israel show
Steven Ferdman / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
Following pop star Lorde's BDS-influenced cancellation on Sunday of a Tel Aviv concert scheduled in June, Israel's Ambassador to New Zealand requested to personally meet with the Grammy award winning artist.
Israeli ambassador Yitzhak Gerberg posted on Facebook an offer to meet with the artist to "discuss Israel and its role as the only democracy in the Middle East."
In the post, the ambassador urged the pop star not to give in to the "hateful agenda" of what he described as a minority supporting the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, which calls for the boycott of Israeli products and economic participation with Israel.
"By succumbing to the hateful agenda of the few who support BDS you encourage animosity in the region. Music should unite not divide. Reactions driven by hatred lead to continued conflict. But solutions come from engagement and lead to compromise, co-operation, and peace."
On Thursday, Lorde received an open joint letter from a Palestinian woman and a Jewish woman based in Aotearoa in her native New Zealand urging her to cancel the Tel Aviv gig.
Lorde responded on twitter to fans, explaining that she would get informed on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before coming to any decisions regarding the upcoming show.
Concert promoter Naranjah confirmed the cancellation on Sunday, posting a message from Lorde in which she said she had “done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions” before booking the gig, but was “not too proud to admit” that she “didn’t make the right call on this one.”
“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,” Lorde said.
She added that it was “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,” adding, “I hope one day we can all dance.”
The appeal by Israel's ambassador to New Zealand comes after the Culture Minister Miri Regev's call on Sunday for Lorde to re-consider her cancellation.
"I hope that Lorde reconsiders her decision not to play in Israel," Regev said in a statement hours after the 21-year-old New Zealand singer-songwriter announced she would be cancelling her June 5, 2018 gig in Tel Aviv and refunding ticket holders.
"Lorde, I expect you to be a ‘pure heroine’ like the title of your first album," Regev continued. "A pure heroine of culture, void of any foreign political considerations, not to mention delusional ones."
In their open letter, the two women explained their efforts to put pressure on Israel by taking part in the BDS movement.
“Today, millions of people stand opposed to the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, ethnic cleansing, human rights violations, occupation and apartheid. 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 two wrote in a letter.
Lorde has faced mixed reactions since announcing her tour schedule, with some fans responding that political issues should not get in way of music and art.
The Pink Floyd legend, Roger Waters, has become a sort of mascot for the BDS movement and continues to put intense pressure on musicians to avoid performing in the country, invoking human rights as his rationale for snubbing the Israeli music scene.
Nonetheless, artists such as Radiohead and Nick Cave, have fought back, criticizing 'Roger Waters and Co' for their 'divisive' activity.
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I have never heard of this "star?" I would suggest her decision is her loss and if she never comes to Israel, SO WHAT!