Lauryn Hill isn't marching to Zion: Israel concert canceled

Published May 5th, 2015 - 06:56 GMT

R&B, soul and hip hop singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill officially announced on Monday that she was cancelling her planned show in Israel, scheduled for May 7.

In a statement on her website, Hill wrote, "When deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge."

"I"ve wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace. It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the upcoming performance in Israel, and seek a different strategy to bring my music to ALL of my fans in the region," she added.

Producers of the show in Israel said on Sunday they have received messages in recent days signalling that Hill wants to cancel the performance, and that they are making "massive efforts" to avert this.

Hill is under pressure from the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that compares Israel to apartheid-era South Africa.

BDS has in recent years called on many artists to cancel their shows in Israel. While some have heeded the call, many musicians have ignored calls by pro-Palestinian groups to cancel concerts in Israel and have expressed their support of the Jewish state.

Popular rhythm and blues artist Alicia Keys, for example, refused to cave in to pressure by anti-Israel activists and gave a sold out concert in Tel Aviv.

Keys announced that she had decided to go ahead with her concert in Tel Aviv despite calls from a number of anti-Israel activists to boycott the Jewish state.

The pop duo Pet Shop Boys also rejected calls from pro-Arab activists to cancel a Tel Aviv concert. The concert went ahead as scheduled on June 23, 2013.

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