Lauryn Hill Cancels Israel Show Amid Controversy

"I've wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace," Hill says

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Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill has canceled a planned Israel show amid criticism that the singer should boycott the country. Erika Goldring/Getty

Lauryn Hill has canceled her upcoming gig in Tel Aviv after facing a social media campaign demanding that the Fugees singer boycott her Israel concert over the country's occupation of Palestine. In a statement, Hill said that she hoped to perform two shows in the region — one in Israel and one in the Palestinian Territory — but the latter performance proved to be too difficult logistically. In order to not alienate fans on either side of the West Bank Wall, Hill canceled her Israel show entirely three days before she was scheduled to perform, The Guardian reports.

"When deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge," Hill said in a statement. "I've wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace. It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the upcoming performance in Israel, and seek a different strategy to bring my music to ALL of my fans in the region."

While Hill refrained from using the word "boycott," the singer becomes the latest artist to cancel an Israeli gig due to tensions in the region as well as pressure from activists. Pink Floyd's Roger Waters is at the forefront of the movement demanding that artists boycott Israel "until such time as their occupation ends and equal rights are extended to Palestinians," as Waters wrote in an open letter to Alan Parsons. While the Alan Parsons Project still performed their February show in Tel Aviv, artists like Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder, Pixies (temporarily) and now Lauryn Hill have nixed Israel shows in recent years.

"May healing, equanimity, and the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation come to this region and its people," Hill wrote in conclusion.

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