Instead of simply canceling your show in Tel Aviv, cross the checkpoints and the separation wall and do what most pop icons have yet to do: perform in the West Bank. An open letter to Lorde.
You may have stumbled upon my words before. Three years ago, your art and public persona inspired me to produce something ambitious. “The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries,” a whimsical fan’s journal, appeared on this site in no less 15 installments. In them, I described the difficulties I faced while trying to create a bilingual, bi-national, Israeli-Palestinian tribute to your first album, Pure Heroine.
In this ancient, troubled land, everything is extra political. Prospective Palestinian artists were initially excited about the project, before backing out. They love your stuff. They wanted to participate. They had nothing personal against me or my producer/partner. Yet singing “Team” with us, members of a society that keeps millions of their brethren under military rule, deprived of basic rights, would have created a false sense of normalcy.
I am bringing this up now because you appear to be facing a challenge that isn’t entirely unrelated. Last week, it was announced that you will be playing Tel Aviv in June of next year. Soon after the news broke, eloquent proponents of the BDS movement urged you to join them in boycotting Israel, in order to protest its occupation policies. [Update: Lorde announced she would be canceling her show in Israel shortly after this post was published]
You have surely read much on the topic already, and yet I feel obliged to add a few more words from my perspective as an Israeli who loves his society and yet feels that it is implicated in a horrid crime. Actually, I’m about to add many words, so please forgive the volume of what’s to come. These matters deserve some depth. And besides, I am not preaching to the choir here.
The dilemma itself is simple. Your Israeli fan base is broad and enthusiastic; it would be a shame to disappoint them. On the other hand, you are politically minded. If I were an international artist and knew what I know of the...Read More