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Lorde 'bullied' after dropping Israel show

Lorde 'bullied' after dropping Israel show
From Al Jazeera - January 3, 2018

A campaign attacking the singer Lorde for pulling out of a planned concert in the Israeli capital, Tel Aviv, has been condemned as bullying by pro-Palestinian activists and others on Twitter.

The 21-year-old performer took the decision after two supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS) published an open letter to the singer, urging her not to play in the state as it would be seen as "giving support to the policies of the Israeli government" against Palestinians.

The New Zealander later announced her withdrawal from the show and has been the subject of intense criticism by supporters of Israel since.

IsraeliCulture Minister Miri Regev said she hoped Lorde "reneges on her decision"and Israel's ambassador toNew Zealand, Itzhak Gerberg, invited the singer to discuss the issue with him personally.

Others have taken a far less conciliatory approach.

On New Year's Eve, the 21-year-oldwas the subject of a full-page advert taken out by a pro-Israel advocacy group in the Washington Post newspaper, which accused her of being a "bigot" who had chosen to align herself with "those committed to Israel's fiscal destruction".

The advert was widely condemned for its tone, which many construed as "bullying".

On his Twitter account, music journalist Eric Boehlert described the advert as "pathetic", adding: "Lorde does not have to perform anywhere she does not want to, (the) accusations are (an) ugly attempt at bullying."

Justine Sachs, a Jewish New Zealander, who co-wrote the letter to Lorde, told Al Jazeera she was "overjoyed and surprised" when she found out the artist had listened to her request not to play in Israel.

The 23-year-old graduate student said she and Nadia Abu-Shanab, the Palestinian activist she wrote the letter with, were both fans of Lorde but were unsure whether she would pull out of the show because of possible contractual obligations.

"[We] knew her to be a conscious and engaged person who cares about social justice so we thought she would be sympathetic to the cause," she said.

The fact that she cancelled regardless of all this is a testament to her bravery and courage, and I have so much more respect than I already had for Lorde.

Justine Sachs, co-author of letter to Lorde

"We were unsure about whether she would be able to cancel the show, even if she wanted to.

"The fact that she cancelled regardless of all this is a testament to her bravery and courage, and I have so much more respect than I already had for Lorde."

But according to Sachs, Lorde's decision has more than just personal significance and should be seen as a major milestone for the BDS movement.

Ben Jamal (@BenJamalpsc) January 1, 2018
fatima bhutto (@fbhutto) January 2, 2018

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