The Israeli ambassador to New Zealand, Yitzhak Gerberg [pictured above], has reached out to Lorde following the cancellation of her planned 2018 concert in Tel Aviv.
On the Israeli Embassy’s Facebook page Ambassador Gerberg invited Lorde to meet with him to discuss Israel. He wrote:
“I the Ambassador of @IsraelinNZ invite Lorde to meet in person to discuss #israel and its role as the only #democracy in the Middle East. By succumbing to the hateful agenda of the few who support #BDS you encourage animosity in the region.
Ambassador Gerberg’s invitation comes as part of the New Zealand Jewish community’s strong response to Lorde’s cancellation of her concert.
New Zealand Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses, who yesterday published an article responding to Lorde’s decision, said they are deeply disappointed that Lorde has succumbed to a small but loud group of extremist bullies.
“Boycotts of Israel will not lead to peace. Those who advocate them are not interested in negotiations between the two sides to this conflict or a two-state solution.
“By cancelling her show, Lorde has sided with those who support the isolation and demonization of the one Jewish state in the world.”
Moses said Lorde has ignored the moderate voices, including the vast majority of Jewish Kiwis, who believe in dialogue and co-existence, and leading musicians like Radiohead, Nick Cave, Guns N Roses and Justin Bieber who have performed in Tel Aviv in the last year.
“She will still be performing in Russia, but no one accuses her of complicity with Putin, the occupation of the Crimea or chemical warfare in Syria.”
Likewise, the Zionist Federation of New Zealand has urged Lorde to back up her cancellation of her June concert by pulling out of her Russian appearances.
In a media release, the Zionist Federation said it was disappointed that Lorde has caved into pressure from those who wish to see the destruction of Israel.
“Singling out Israel amongst other nations whose human rights abuses make any that Israel supposedly commit seem a drop in the ocean, shows the double standards and discrimination towards the Jewish State of those in the BDS movement.
“If Lorde is cancelling her Tel Aviv concert due to political reasons, then we assume she will soon be announcing the cancellation of her Russian concerts due to Russia’s occupation of The Crimea, it’s support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and other human rights abuses.
“Not doing so would reek of bigotry and prejudice against the Jewish State.”
Meanwhile, B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission Dvir Abramovich told J-Wire that Lorde, has not made the right call on this one.
He said they are deeply disappointed that instead of courageously rejecting the attempt by BDS and anti-Israel activists to single out Israelis for discrimination and to smear and delegitimise the Jewish state, Lorde has succumbed to a relentless campaign that uses malicious double standards to isolate and malign Israel.
“Lorde’s only ‘crime’ was that she wanted to share her singing prowess with the people of Israel—Jews, Muslims and Christians— in the only democracy in the Middle East where artistic expression is thriving.
“Now, shamefully, that will not happen because she has given in to an extreme and biased movement whose hostility against Israel and its citizens is tainted by strong anti-Semitic undertones.”
Abramovich said Lorde’s decision will only undermine efforts to bring Israelis and Palestinians together and to advance dialogue.
“The only way to move towards a two state solution is through cooperation, not cultural and economic vandalism that ultimately seeks to destroy the Jewish state.
“We urge Lorde to reverse her decision, and to stand up to pure hatred by using her talents to promote peace and tolerance in the Middle-East.”