Lana Del Rey responds to criticism around planned performance in Israel

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Kayleigh Dray
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Lana Del Rey responds to criticism around planned performance in Israel

“I totally understand what you’re saying, [but] this is my action,” says Lana Del Rey.

Lana Del Rey recently faced criticism after it was announced she was playing the inaugural Meteor Festival in Israel, primarily due to the nation’s policies regarding Palestine.

Since then, groups such as the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) have urged her to reconsider the concert, comparing it to “playing a show in South Africa during Apartheid”. 

Responding to the backlash, Del Rey released a statement affirming that she would play the show, saying that performing in Israel “is not a political statement”.

“We signed on to the show w the intention that it would be performed for the kids there and my plan was for it to be done with a loving energy w a thematic emphasis on peace. If you don’t agree with it I get it,” she said.

“I see both sides, [but] I would like to remind you that performing in Tel Aviv is not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there just as singing here in California doesn’t mean my views are in alignment with my current government’s opinions or sometimes inhuman actions.”

Now, however, Del Rey has posted a new statement to Instagram.

“My views on democracy and oppression are aligned with most liberal views,” the Young And Beautiful singer has written.

“We will still be playing our show in Israel. That being said, I understand the concern towards showing support to the Palestinians too. 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 went on to make a reference to a statement from Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, in which he apparently spoke on “taking action even when you believe in neutrality.”

You can find the full statement below:

Unfortunately, though, her words have not had the desired effect on her most vocal critics.

“Thank you for engaging,” wrote a spokesperson for PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) in response to Del Rey’s statement.

“We would welcome you to Palestine should you cancel your Meteor performance, but we cannot accept your token gesture as you step across our boycott picket line.” 

They added: “Inspired by the struggle of black South Africans during apartheid, Palestinians are asking for meaningful solidarity – not charity – as we resist Israel’s decades-long oppression.”

Del Rey is not the first to come under fire for performing in Israel: in December 2017, Lorde received an open letter from fans, which stated that her planned Tel Aviv performance would equate to support for Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem (both of which are lands that Palestine claims).

“In this context,” they wrote, “a performance in Israel sends the wrong message. Playing in Tel Aviv will be seen as giving support to the policies of the Israeli government, even if you make no comment on the political situation.”

Lorde replied: “Noted! Been speaking w[ith] many people about this and considering all options. Thank [yo]u for educating me, I am learning all the time too.”

The musician subsequently cancelled the concert, calling her initial decision to perform in Israel a mistake. The concert promoters reimbursed fans who had purchased tickets.

Image: Getty


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.