Lana Del Rey Defies Critics of Israel Ahead of Tel Aviv Concert

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey

After the news broke that Del Rey would headline the festival, the Palestinian Campaign for the Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel (PACBI) called for the singer to cancel her performance, urging her to "respect our non-violent picket line". I see both sides.

"I would like to remind you that performing in Tel Aviv is not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there just as singing here in California doesn't mean my views are in alignment w [ith] my current government's opinions or sometimes inhuman actions", she wrote.

Del Rey previously cancelled a show in Israel in 2014 due to conflict in Gaza, following Operation Protective Edge, Israel's campaign to eradicate tunnels running between Hamas-controlled Gaza and Israel.

"I understand your concern I really get [sic] do", Del Rey said in the statement which caused even more backlash. So I just wanted to let you know when I'm in Israel I will be visiting Palestine too and I look forward to meeting both Palestinian and Israeli children and playing music for everyone. "We will still be playing our show in Israel".

Del Rey noted that she did not believe in "oppression or murder in any form anywhere", and told another Twitter user that she would not be stopped from sharing her "political/personal passion for peace" wherever she went.

Del Rey, whose original name is Elizabeth "Lizzy" Woolridge Grant, previously said her decision to play the three-day Meteor Festival in the Galilee was not a statement of support for Israeli government policies.

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Stevie Wonder, Lorde, Macy Gray, Roger Waters, Simphiwe Dana and Zakes Mda are among the list of global artists who have in recent years either cancelled Israeli gigs, backed the boycott of Israel or lent other similar support to the Palestinian cause.

Ma'an News Agency further notes that "performing for the kids" typically means under the age of 18, while the Meteor Festival's minimum age is 18; most of the attendees of the festival were, will be or now are part of the Israeli army which enforces the Israeli occupation throughout the West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip. "But we can not accept your token gesture as you step across our boycott picket line".

In a longer message on Facebook, Waters wrote that to cross the BDS - boycott, divestment and sanctions - picket line "is a political act in support of the apartheid state" of Israel, "even if in your heart of hearts you believe yourself to be neutral".

Palestinian solidarity groups in South Africa have welcomed the decision by music duo Black Motion not to perform in Israel.

The singer will be appearing at the Meteor Festival in the northern kibbutz of Lehavot Habashan next month.

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