Lorde is not alone in her boycott of Israel. On Friday, a little over 100 artists signed an open letter organized by Artists for Palestine UK, stating their support of Lorde’s refusal to perform in Israel. According to the Artists for Palestine website, the initiative is dedicated to “expos[ing] the ways in which art and culture are co-opted to improve Israel’s image and mask its crimes against the Palestinian people.”
Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a pro-Palestine group, asked the New Zealand singer to reconsider her scheduled Tel Aviv tour date, ultimately inspiring her to cancel the gig.
The decision sparked controversy, as Shmuley Boteach of This World: The Values Network took out a Washington Post ad with the headline ‘Lorde and New Zealand Ignore Syria To Attack Israel,’ which called Lorde a “bigot.” For what it’s worth, cancelling a date in Israel doesn’t make her anti-Semitic, but whatever.
The musicians who signed the letter in support of Lorde included electronic music pioneer Brian Eno, feminist hero and Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna, hip hop artist Talib Kweli, politically outspoken rock musician Tom Morello. A number of well known actors and actresses including John Cusack and Juliet Stevenson, too, gave their signature.
The open letter defended Lorde and questioned the integrity of that Washington Post ad:
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 (Report, 1 January).
Shmuley Boteach, the author and promoter of the advert, supports Israel’s illegal settlements and wrote last month on Breitbart to thank Donald Trump for “electrifying the world” with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in defiance of international law.
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.
Read the full list of artists who put their support behind Lorde, here.