Paging Lorde: Israeli Ambassador Seeks In-Person Meeting After Singer Cancels Tel Aviv Concert

“I invite you to meet me in person to discuss Israel, its achievements and its role as the only democracy in the Middle East,” Ambassador Itzhak Gerberg writes

Last Updated: December 27, 2017 @ 5:53 PM

Call it a royal international kerfuffle.

In an open letter Wednesday, Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand has asked pop star Lorde to meet with him after she cancelled an upcoming show in Tel Aviv.

The “Royals” singer, who is a New Zealand native, announced Sunday she was cancelling a scheduled concert in Israel after pro-Palestinian activists launched a sustained social media campaign citing Israel’s policies toward Palestinians.

In a Facebook message, Ambassador Itzhak Gerberg wrote, “It is regrettable that you have cancelled your concert in Tel Aviv and have disappointed all your fans in Israel.”

He continued, “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.”

“I invite you to meet me in person to discuss Israel, its achievements and its role as the only democracy in the Middle East,” he concluded.

Lorde canceled her upcoming concert scheduled for Tel Aviv on June 5, 2018, after caving to anti-Israel activists.

New Zealand publication The Spinoff published an open letter letter addressed to Lorde asking her to cancel her December Tel Aviv show, to which the singer tweeted in response, “Noted! Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too.”

Lorde eventually cancelled the show Sunday, though she never directly cited the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

“I’ve received an overwhelming number of messages & letters and 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,” the singer wrote in a Twitter statement addressed to Jerusalem Post’s Amy Spiro. “I pride myself on being an informed young citizen, and I had done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions before deciding to book a show in Tel Aviv, but I’m not too proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one.”

Lorde joins a long list of artists who have canceled concerts in Israel as the result of BDS pressure, including The Pixies, Roger Waters, Thurston Moore and Lauryn Hill, among others.

Others like Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, the Pet Shop Boys, Alicia Keys, Tom Jones, Madonna, Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers went ahead with their scheduled Israel concerts despite criticism.

In 2015, J.K. Rowling and more than 150 writers, artists and other public figures signed a letter stating that “Cultural boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory and will not further peace.”

The BDS movement has called on academic and governmental institutions, companies, artist to boycott Israel and avoid buying its products citing the country’s occupation of the West Bank and its policies towards Palestinians.

Read Ambassador’s Gerberg’s Facebook post below.

27 December 2017

An open letter to Lorde by the Ambassador of Israel to New Zealand

Dear Lorde,

It is regrettable that you have cancelled your concert in Tel Aviv and have disappointed all your fans in Israel.

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.

Boycott and hate on the other hand, represents hostility and intolerance and I was sorry to see that you have succumbed to the supporters of a small fanatic group of BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) movement that denies the right of the State of Israel to exist and spreads hatred and animosity.

I invite you to meet me in person to discuss Israel, its achievements and its role as the only democracy in the Middle East.

Sincerely,

Dr Itzhak Gerberg
Ambassador