American singer Lana Del Rey responded to criticism of her planned show in Israel by saying yesterday that she would “visit Palestine too”. Palestinian activists, however, urged her to respect the boycott call, and cancel the gig altogether.
Following an outpouring of opposition to her scheduled appearance at the Meteor Festival on 7 September, Del Rey claimed that her visit “is not a political statement” and that performing in Israel “is not a commitment to the politics there, just as singing in California doesn’t mean my views are in alignment with my current government’s opinions or some inhuman actions”.
“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. I want peace for both Israel and Palestine”, Del Rey tweeted Wednesday.
Responding on Twitter, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) welcomed Del Rey’s engagement with critics, but urged her to go further.
“We would welcome you to Palestine should you cancel your Meteor performance, and decide to use this time to learn more about Israel’s colonisation, occupation and apartheid”, adding: “But we cannot accept your token gesture as you step across our boycott picket line”.
Del Rey’s announcement that she will “visit Palestine” came as Palestinian solidarity groups in South Africa welcomed the decision by music duo Black Motion not to perform in Israel.
The pair were due to take part in the Meteor Festival but have “e-mailed the festival’s organisers and stated that they do not want their clients to perform and want to be excluded from the line-up”.