Pop star Lorde has cancelled a summer concert in Tel Aviv announced less than a week ago after pro-Palestinian fans in her native New Zealand criticized her.
Producer Eran Arieli, in a post on Facebook, apologized to fans, adding that “I was naive to think an artist of her age could handle that pressure.” Lorde is 21.
“It’s important to me that the end of the day we will thank her for considering us and giving us the opportunity in the first place, and also apologize to her,” he said. “She doesn’t deserve all the [staff] she’s been through in the last week since the announcement. The last thing she needs on her comeback tour is the army of globalist anti-Semites weighing down on her head.”
“This is not the first cancellation we’ve experienced and it won’t be the last,” Arieli also wrote.
Following her announcement of a Tel Aviv concert date, New Zealanders Nadia Abu-Shanab (Palestinian) and Justine Sachs (Jewish) wrote that Lorde’s 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 wrote.
In response, the singer said in a tweet, “Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time.”
“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 said in a statement on social media. “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. L x”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in a statement condemned the singer’s decision to cancel.
“This is a classic example of the world’s singular obsession with one country, the State of Israel,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in the statement. “The fact that Lorde still intends to perform in Russia, and has no issues with that country’s multiple human rights abuses in the Ukraine, is a clear example of the hypocrisy the international community applies to the Middle East’s only democracy,” he also said.
“This double standard smacks of anti-Semitism. Not performing in Israel will only embolden extremist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad,” Hier concluded.
Earlier this year, former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters clashed with Thom Yorke, the singer of the British band Radiohead, and Australian rocker Nick Cave over their performances in Israel. Waters, a leading proponent of the BDS movement, urged Yorke and Cave to cancel their concerts in Israel. Both refused — Yorke called the BDS campaign “offensive” and Cave said Waters subjects musicians to “public humiliation” over the issue.
“We are deeply disappointed that Lorde has succumbed to a small but loud group of extremist bullies. Boycotts of Israel will not lead to peace. Those who advocate them are not interested in negotiations between the two sides to this conflict or a two-state solution,” said Juliet Moses, spokesperson for the the New Zealand Jewish Council.
“By cancelling her show, Lorde has sided with those who support the isolation and demonization of the one Jewish state in the world. She has ignored the moderate voices, including the vast majority of Jewish Kiwis, who believe in dialogue and co-existence, and the leading musicians like Radiohead, Nick Cave, Guns N Roses and Justin Bieber who have performed in Tel Aviv in the last year. She will still be performing in Russia, but no one accuses her of complicity with Putin, the occupation of the Crimea or chemical warfare in Syria.”
Lorde co-wrote her latest album “Melodrama” with Jewish producer Jack Antonoff, who wore a visible Jewish star to the MTV Video Music Awards in August.