American rapper Azealia Banks has vowed she will never visit Israel again after experiencing racism while in the country for her Tel Aviv show earlier this week.
Banks had previously resisted calls to cancel her upcoming show in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement stating that the campaign was anti-Semitic. However, on her return from Israel she informed her fans in a series of tweets that she had experienced discrimination on multiple occasions because she was black.
“I will never ever ever ever ever go to Israel again. I love my fans but y’all gonna have to fly out to come see me because y’all country is nuts,” Banks tweeted.
Banks claimed that a rabbi sitting next to her on the plane offered her money for sex, and that service vendors in Tel Aviv treated her badly due to her skin colour. Her luggage was also searched thoroughly while white travellers were allowed to pass and she was held at Ben Gurion airport, reportedly because her passport was tatty.
“No some old Jewish lady on my el al flight screamed at me in front of the whole plane for trying to put my bag where hers was. It was so racist I sat in my seat and cried,” she said on Twitter.
“Why are these people like this? I don’t understand… the amount of times I’ve been purposefully coughed on, stepped on, cut in line is tooooo [sic] much,” she concluded.
Many of Banks’ fans took to Twitter to highlight that her experience of racism was what was endured by millions of Palestinians daily, as well as thousands of African migrants, mainly from Eritrea and Sudan, whom Israel has been struggling to deport.
“I understand now. But I honestly wanted to see it for myself… tbh [to be honest] I didn’t make any money on the date as it wasn’t a big guarantee. It was just enough to get my crew there, and pay their salaries .. so to me it was always something educational. I didn’t pocket any money from it,” she replied.
Earlier this year, New Zealand singer Lorde cancelled her concert in Tel Aviv after two pro-Palestinian activists penned an open letter in which they urged her to “take a stand” and “join the artistic boycott of Israel.”
The New Zealand singer-songwriter replied in a tweet stating: “Noted! Been speaking [with] many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me I am learning all the time too.” She cancelled her show two days later.
In response, a legal rights group announced that they would sue the two New Zealanders who wrote the letter encouraging the singer to call off her concert, and US lawmakers called for Lorde’s concert in Florida to be cancelled in protest of her support of the boycott against Israel.