The Meteor Festival in northern Israel opened on September 6 with dozens of artists from around the world. They included many performers who were pressured to boycott – such as Kamasi Washington, Pusha T, Soulwax, and Mura Masa – but instead created a space where Israeli fans of all backgrounds and opinions could set aside their differences and come together in peace.
Despite the incredible lineup and ultimate success of the event, we at Creative Community For Peace are deeply saddened that Lana Del Rey (and several others) decided to pull out of the festival and postpone their performances in Israel.
We recognize that Lana’s decision might have been made with the best of intentions. “It’s important to me to perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all my fans equally,” she wrote on Twitter. “Unfortunately it hasn’t been possible to line up both visits with such short notice and therefore I’m postponing my appearance at the Meteor Festival until a time when I can schedule visits for both my Israeli and Palestinian fans, as well as hopefully other countries in the region.
Why is it difficult to perform for both Israelis and Palestinians?
Lana isn’t the first artist to try and fail to perform in both Israeli and Palestinian venues, nor to misunderstand the reason for the failure. In another high-profile incident in 2015, Ms. Lauryn Hill canceled her scheduled performance in Tel Aviv after she was unable to schedule a corresponding gig in Ramallah. “Setting up a performance in the Palestinian territory at the same time as our show in Israel proved to be a challenge,” she wrote on Facebook.
Like Lana Del Rey, who cited “short notice,” Lauryn Hill gave the impression that it was logistical or time constraints that prevented her from being able to set up both shows. However, apparently unbeknown to both artists, this is not the case. Even had they tried to set up both shows years in advance, they would have been unlikely to succeed, as the true culprit behind these failures is the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement and the pressure its activists exert on Palestinian concert venues not to welcome artists who perform in Israel.
Read the rest on the Jerusalem Post: https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Bridges-not-boycotts-567286