A full-page advertisement in the Washington Post damning Lorde for her decision to cancel a scheduled Tel Aviv concert has been criticised by New Zealand’s Jewish Council, with a spokesperson claiming the ad “bullied” the 21-year-old singer.
The pop superstar cancelled her 2018 appearance in the Israeli capital last month, after hearing concerns about the nation’s continued occupation of contested territories in the region.
That lead rabbi and pro-Israel activist Shmuley Boteach to run the ad, which calls Lorde a “bigot” who chose an “anti-Semitic boycott” of the nation.
“It’s time that we send a clear message that there will be no tolerance for intolerance,” the ad said.
“Let’s boycott the boycotters and tell Lorde and her fellow bigots that Jew-hatred has no place in the twenty-first century.”
— Rabbi Shmuley (@RabbiShmuley) December 31, 2017
The ad claimed Lorde’s cancellation is hypocritical, considering her decision not to cancel tour dates in Russia – a state which definitely has its own incredibly controversial stance on the Middle East.
It also drew parallels to New Zealand’s decision to oppose U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent declaration that Jerusalem is the true capital of Israel.
Responding to the ad, Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses said it was unlikely to change minds in either camp.
“We think it’s inflammatory, we think it’s unnecessary to accuse Lorde of being bigot, and we think it essentially promotes intransigence on both sides of the issue,” Moses told New Zealand’s Newstalk ZB.
Moses, who has also criticised Lorde’s decision and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement which spurred the cancelation, maintained the ad shouldn’t have resorted to bullying.
“We were critical of the people who we felt bullied her to make the decision to cancel in the first place,” Moses said.
Lorde has not publicly responded to the backlash.