An Israeli official wants to meet with “Royals” singer Lorde after she canceled an upcoming concert in Tel Aviv.
On Sunday the 21-year-old pop singer heeded appeals from pro-Palestinian activists and canceled her June 2018 concert in Israel, The Associated Press reported.
The concert was part of a global tour supporting her second studio album, prophetically named “Melodrama.” She pulled the plug less than a week after announcing it.
Proponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, as well as people on social media she had public conversations with, urged her to cancel though some fans argued that politics should not get in the way of her music.
“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,” Lorde said in a statement published by The Jerusalem Post, which announced her decision with a headline that read, “Lorde Caves to BDS Pressure.”
She said despite researching the issue before she booked Tel Aviv, “I’m not too proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one.
On Wednesday, Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand published a public letter to the singer in which he called her decision “regrettable” and said he was sorry to see her succumb to “supporters of a small fanatic group,” referencing BDS.
“I invite you to meet me in person to discuss Israel, its achievements and its role as the only democracy in the Middle East,” Itzhak Gerberg wrote on the Embassy of Israel’s Facebook page.
He wrote that music is a “wonderful language of tolerance and friendship, which brings people together. Your concert in Israel could have spread the message that solutions come from constructive engagement that leads to compromise and cooperation.
“Music should unite not divide and your performance in Israel could have contributed to the spirit of hope and peace in the Middle East.”
Lorde’s representatives did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment on Gerberg’s invitation.
Actress Roseanne Barr was more blunt in her reaction to Lorde’s decision. She called the young singer a “bigot.”
In an editorial published Monday, the Jerusalem Post called Lorde’s decision a “serious win” for the BDS movement.
“After a week of being bombarded on social media with calls to boycott the Jewish state, the 21-year-old singer announced on Sunday evening that she wouldn’t be performing a show in Tel Aviv after all. And the activists who dedicate themselves to pushing for a cultural boycott rejoiced like they haven’t for a long time,” the Post wrote.
“It was nothing short of a huge win for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which goes after almost any artist that announces a show in Israel and pushes them to cancel.”
Cultural boycotts are deep waters for entertainers. The Rolling Stones, Justin Bieber, Elton John and Aerosmith have all performed in Israel in recent years, according to Reuters.
But Lorde joins Elvis Costello, Lauryn Hill and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters in avoiding the country. Waters has said he’s been called a Nazi and anti-Semite for his stance.
“The truth is I was naive to think that an artist of her age would be able to absorb the pressure involved in coming to Israel, and I take full responsibility and ask the forgiveness of fans, admirers, and other dreamers,” the promoter of Lorde’s concert in Israel, Eran Arielli, wrote on Facebook, CNN reported.
“I have no complains about her, and beyond that, my opinion of her has not changed one millimeter.”
Lorde felt pressure at home, too, to cancel the show.
According to CNN, fellow New Zealanders, Jewish activist Justine Sachs and Palestinian activist Nadia Abu-Shanab, wrote an open letter to her last week in which they mentioned the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“In this context, a performance in Israel sends the wrong message,” they wrote. “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.”
Lorde wrote to one person on Twitter who shared the letter with her: “Noted! Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me I am learning all the time too.”