“It is regrettable that you have canceled your concert in Tel Aviv and have disappointed all your fans in Israel,” Dr. Itzkah Gerberg wrote to the New Zealand native in a Facebook open letter. “Music is a wonderful language of tolerance and friendship, which brings people together. 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,” he continued. “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 a small fanatic group of 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.”
Lorde was scheduled to perform at the Tel Aviv Convention Centre on June 5th as part of her Melodrama world tour. New Zealand publication The Spinoff asked Lorde to cancel her Tel Aviv show in a December 20th open letter, to which the singer tweeted in response, “”Noted! Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too.” She canceled the date over the weekend without directly citing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
“I’ve received an overwhelming number of messages & 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 singer wrote in a statement to organizers (via Jerusalem Post‘s Amy Spiro). “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.”
The controversy surrounding Lorde’s Tel Aviv show swelled after the United States announced it would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, leading to deadly riots in Gaza.
Numerous artists have canceled concerts in Israel as the result of BDS pressure, which includes artists like Roger Waters, Thurston Moore and Lauryn Hill. However, both Radiohead and Nick Cave continued with scheduled Israel shows in 2017 despite widespread criticism from the movement.