US/World News

100+ artists sign letter supporting Lorde’s Israel concert cancellation

(JTA) – More than 100 artists including musicians, writers, actors and directors signed an open letter published in The Guardian in support of pop star Lorde’s right to cancel her show in Israel. The letter published on Jan. 5 also slammed the full page ad calling Lorde a “bigot” published in the Washington Post and funded by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s World Values Network organization. Among the signers of the letter were actor Mark Ruffalo, singer Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters, actor John Cusack, British director Ken Loach, writer Angela Davis and writer Alice Walker. “We deplore the bullying tactics being used to defend injustice against Palestinians and to suppress an artist’s freedom of conscience. We support Lorde’s right to take a stand,” the letter says. It also says that Boteach “has nothing to teach artists about human rights.”

Lorde said last month she would cancel her Tel Aviv concert less than a week after it was announced following criticism by pro-Palestinian fans in her native New Zealand. Lorde said in a statement about the cancellation that she educated herself about Israel before booking the concert, but that “I didn’t make the right call on this one.”

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