Lorde not alone in boycotting Israel
By Diane Cooke
Lorde is a Grammy Award-winning New Zealand singer/songwriter who became an international crossover sensation with her hits 'Royals' and 'Team.'
In late December, she announced a concert in Tel Aviv in June as part of her Melodrama World Tour.
A few days later, The Spinoff published an open letter urging her not to play in Tel Aviv. It was written by two young women - one Jewish and the other Palestinian - based in Aotearoa In New Zealand.
"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. Such an effect cannot be undone by even the best intention and the best music," the letter read.
That spurred on more pressure from pro-Palestinian activists, including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has advocated for a cultural boycott to pressure Israel to end its occupation of the territory Palestinians seek for a state.
A few days later, Lorde officially cancelled her 2018 Tel Aviv concert.
Before making the decision, the 21-year-old responded on Twitter to the letter calling on her to scrap her June show. She wrote:
"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 tweeted.
It came after Donald Trump controversially decided to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, sparking protests across the Middle East.
The decision to cancel the concert has been interpreted by some as Lorde taking a side in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A pro-Israel organisation took out a full-page ad in the Washington Post calling the singer-songwriter a "bigot" and accusing New Zealand of "growing prejudice" against the Jewish people. It also criticises New Zealand for voting in favour of a United Nations (UN) resolution calling for the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The ad called attention to Lorde's decision to keep tour dates in Russia, while dropping the Tel Aviv concerts.
In 2010, British singer Elvis Costello cancelled an Israeli show in protest over the treatment of Palestinians.
After the decision, he said: "There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent."
In the past, the late Gil Scott-Heron and Santana have also refused to perform in Israel.