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Lorde scraps show in Israel after fan pressure

December 25, 2017

Young New Zealand star Lorde has canceled a concert in Tel Aviv amid calls to boycott Israel for its treatment of Palestinians. The singer said she made the call after "an overwhelming number of messages & letters."

New Zealand singer Lorde
Image: picture alliance/dpa/C. Gateau

The 21-year-old singer and songwriter Lorde, who gained worldwide fame with her 2013 hit "Rulers," axed the planned June performance in Tel Aviv. The concert was originally to serve as a finale of her 2018 tour.

Lorde announced the move in a statement sent to concert organizers in Israel on Sunday. The news was first reported by the Jerusalem Post journalist Amy Spiro. While the singer does not directly state reasons for her decision, the statement alludes to pressure from fans to boycott Israel over the Palestinian conflict.

"I pride myself on being an informed young citizen, and I had done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions before deciding to book a show in Tel Aviv but I'm not too proud to admit I didn't make the right call on this one," she told the organizers.

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Lorde, also known by her given name of Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, said she received "an overwhelming number of messages & letters" which made her decide to cancel the show.

Earlier this week, two activists with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for boycotting Israel urged the performer to cancel the performance in an open letter. The two New Zealand-based women, one of Jewish and the other of Palestinian background, said that playing in Tel Aviv would be "seen as giving support" to Israel's oppressive policies towards Palestinians.

Lorde addressed the letter on social media, saying she was "considering all options."

Following the decision to cancel the concert, the Tel Aviv organizers said they "forgive" the singer, while Israel's culture minister Miri Regev urged the singer to reverse her decision.

dj/rc (AP, dpa, AFP)