Less than a week after she announced a concert next year in Tel Aviv, New Zealand singer/songwriter Lorde has canceled the show following pressure from BDS activists.
In a statement from the singer released by the Israeli public relations firm handling the show for concert promoters Naranjah, the singer cited the “overwhelming number of messages and letters” she received as leading to her decision to cancel the show booked for June.
“I 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,” she wrote. The singer said despite researching the issue before booking the Tel Aviv show, “I’m not too proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one.”
Naranjah confirmed earlier Sunday evening that the show had been canceled and announced that fans who had already purchased a ticket will be reimbursed.
Eran Arielli, one of the founders of Naranjah, wrote on Facebook Sunday evening that he was “naive to think that an artist of her age would be able to face the pressure of appearing in Israel.” Arielli said that he takes full responsibility, and asked for forgiveness from her local fans.
Lorde herself added that: “Tel Aviv, it’s 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. I hope one day we can all dance.”
From the moment the 21-year-old singer announced her Israel show, she faced calls on social media to cancel.
Last Monday, she posted on Twitter that she was planning a tour, including a stop in Israel, writing: “MOSCOW * ST. PETERSBURG * TEL AVIV * LET’S DANCE ——->.”
Dozens of fans responded negatively to the news, with many predictably urging her to cancel the show in Tel Aviv and support the boycott of Israel. None of Lorde’s fans appeared to have a problem with her performing in Russia, a country with a spotty-at-best human-rights record.
After two women wrote an open letter to the singer, urging her not to play, Lorde responded on Twitter on Wednesday that she was “considering all options.”The letter
– written by New Zealand activists Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab and posted on the New Zealand website Spinoff – said, “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.”
Arielli said Sunday night that he wants to thank Lorde for giving them a chance in the first place and to apologize to her: “She doesn’t deserve all the shit she’s had to endure over the past week,” he wrote. “This is not the first cancellation we’ve had, and it won’t be the last.”
Culture Minister Miri Regev issued a statement calling on Lorde to reverse her cancellation.
“Lorde, I’m hoping you can be a ‘pure heroine,’ like the title of your first album,” Regev said in a statement. “To be a heroine of pure culture, free from any foreign – and ridiculous – political considerations.”