Israeli Culture Minister Asks Lorde To Reconsider Cancellation Of Tel Aviv Concert

After finding fame while still a teenager with the minimalist viral hit "Royals," Lorde with her new music has turned to a more elaborate pop sound -- and more adult themes
AFP

Israeli Minister of Culture, Science and Sports Miri Regev issued a call on Sunday asking New Zealand pop starlet Lorde to reconsider her decision to cancel her show in Israel.

Lorde, 21, decided to cancel a performance scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv after anti-Israel exttremist groups and activists from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement approached her and asked her to cancel the show.

“I hope that Lorde reconsiders her decision not to play in Israel,” Regev said in a statement, according to a report in the Times of Israel. Lorde’s concert was scheduled to take place on June 5.

“Lorde, I expect you to be a ‘pure heroine’ like the title of your first album. A pure heroine of culture, void of any foreign political considerations, not to mention delusional ones,” the minister added, in a stab at the activists who pressed Lorde to cancel the performance.

Before announcing that she was cancelling her show, Lorde said that she was considering doing so. She cited a campaign led by two New Zealand pro-Palestinian activists as the reason.

The promoter responsible for bringing Lorde to Israel, Naranjah, released a statement saying it was “sorry to announce” that the show would not take place as planned.

Naranjah published a note from the singer, in which she said she had “done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions” before booking the show, but she was “not too proud to admit” that she “didn’t make the right call on this one.”

“I’ve received an overwhelming number of messages and 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,” Lorde said.

The singer added that it has 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,” adding, “I hope one day we can all dance.”

While Lorde’s cancellation joins withdrawals by acts such as Elvis Costello, Lauryn Hill and The Gorillaz, other artists came to Israel despite – and sometimes because of – the pressure from BDS activists.

Israel’s Internal Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, who is also in charge of fighting the BDS movement, retweeted a meme with a Nick Cave quote and tagged the New Zealand pop starlet.

“It suddenly became very important to me to make a stand against those people that are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians, and to silence musicians … so really you could say in a way that BDS made me play Israel,” the meme said, quoting a comment Cave made in mid-November.

Radiohead, who were also brought to Israel by Naranjah, vocally announced their opposition to the BDS movement’s pressure.

Yorke even attacked pro-Palestinian supporters at a Glasgow concert before the band came to Israel, repeating the phrase “some fucking people” several times before launching into a rendition of the band’s song “Myxomatosis.”

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