The open letter, published in the Guardian, came to the defense of Lorde after a prominent rabbi called the singer a “bigot” for canceling the Tel Aviv show amid pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which opposes Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
“We write in support of Lorde, who made public her decision not to perform in Israel and has now been branded a bigot in a full page advertisement in the Washington Post,” the open letter read while criticizing the ad placed by Shmuley Boteach.
“He has nothing to teach artists about human rights. We deplore the bullying tactics being used to defend injustice against Palestinians and to suppress an artist’s freedom of conscience. We support Lorde’s right to take a stand.”
Other signers of the open letter include musicians like Talib Kweli, Kathleen Hanna and TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe as well as actors Mark Ruffalo, Viggo Mortensen and John Cusack.
Lorde was scheduled to perform at the Tel Aviv Convention Centre on June 5th as part of her 2018 world tour. Other than the statement Lorde reportedly sent to the promoters of her Tel Aviv concert apologizing for canceling the show, the singer hasn’t spoken publicly on the matter on social media. “I think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show,” the singer told promoters, just days after Donald Trump’s controversial announcement he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Itzkah Gerberg, Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand, later requested an in-person meeting with Lorde following the cancellation to “discuss Israel, its achievements and its role as the only democracy in the Middle East.”