Shmuley Boteach says her decision makes her a ‘bigot’ and a hypocrite
Lorde has been accused of anti-semitism after cancelling her concert in Israel.
Prolific rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, took out a full-page ad in the Washington Post to criticise the singer and what he perceives to be “a global anti-semitic boycott of Israel”. The ad features a large photo of Lorde superimposed on a war-torn landscape with men holding their children. With the words “21 is young to become a bigot” in large font.
The singer announced she was cancelling the concert after she received “overwhelming number of messages and letters” as part of an online campaign by activists opposing the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
One open letter signed by two women, “one Jewish and one Palestinian”, included a plea for the singer to use her platform to oppose the Israeli government’s actions. “Today, millions of people stand opposed to the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, ethnic cleansing, human rights violations, occupation and apartheid. As part of this struggle, we believe that an economic, intellectual and artistic boycott is an effective way of speaking out against these crimes. This worked very effectively against apartheid in South Africa, and we hope it can work again.”
In response, the singer replied: “I have had a lot of discussions with people holding many views, and I think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show. I’m not too proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one.”
Boteach’s criticisms focus on New Zealand’s increased hostility towards the majority Jewish state and claimed that this is mostly down to a growing anti-Jewish attitude among the country’s youth rather than the ongoing conflict with Palestine. The ad goes on to point out that she is still due to perform in Russia “despite Putin’s support for Assad’s genocide in Syria”.
Having dubbed himself “America’s rabbi”, Boteach has earned himself a reputation for being outspoken and outlandish. He’s run for Congress, mentored celebrities including Michael Jackson, wrote a book called Kosher Sex, and classes former White House Chief Strategist and former executive chairman of Breitbart News, Steve Bannon, as a “great, stalwart friend of the Jewish State”. In fact, Boteach has written pieces for Breitbart praising Trump as a “great champion of the Jewish people”.
Lorde has not yet commented on the Washington Post ad.