- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Grammy Award-winning artist Lorde has canceled a concert in Israel as a protest against the Jewish state, but apparently has no problem performing in Russia.

The New Zealand pop star called off her June concert in Tel Aviv after activists implored her to join the boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Yet, according to her “Melodrama World Tour” website, the “Royals” singer is still scheduled to perform two concerts in Russia next year — one in St. Petersburg on May 29 and one in Moscow on May 31.

In an open letter published last week, activists Nadia Abu-Shanab and Justine Sachs said Lorde’s planned performance in Israel “sends the wrong message,” especially in light of President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“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,” the activists wrote. “Such an effect cannot be undone by even the best intention and the best music.”



Lorde acknowledged the letter on Wednesday and said she was “considering all options.”

Eran Arielli, owner of the concert organizing firm Naranjah, confirmed the cancellation in a Facebook post on Sunday.

“The truth is that I was naïve to think that an artist of her age can withstand the pressure involved in coming to Israel, and I take full responsibility and ask the forgiveness of fans, admirers, and other dreamers,” Ms. Arielli wrote in Hebrew.

In a statement posted to social media Sunday, Lorde said it’s the “right decision at this time to cancel the show.”

The singer said she prides herself on being an “informed young citizen” and is not “too proud to admit” that she “didn’t make the right call on this one.”

Russia is notorious for its human rights violations.

In a Sept. 25 report, the United Nations said “grave human rights violations, such as arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment and torture, and at least one extra-judicial execution were documented” in the aftermath of the March 2014 seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

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