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Lana Del Rey - spring/summer 2017
Lana wears lamé dress Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello, earring Louise FerdinandoPhotography Charlotte Wales, styling Robbie Spencer

Lana Del Rey responds to Israel show critics, promises to visit Palestine

‘I look forward to meeting both Palestinian and Israeli children and playing music for everyone’

Lana Del Rey has been called out for her decision to make her first appearance in Israel and play the inaugural Meteor Festival in Tel Aviv, now she’s responded to the criticism.

Fans of the singer, the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) and Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel asked the Lust for Life singer to pull out and observe the cultural boycott against the government’s occupation of Palestine. 

Del Rey has since written and posted a statement to Instagram explaining her stance on the upcoming performance. “My views on democracy and oppression are aligned with most liberal views,” she wrote. “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.” 

She concluded her note with a direct message to Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, a supporter of the cultural boycott. “I read your statement about taking action even when you believe in neutrality,” she wrote. “I totally understand what you’re saying and this is my action.” Del Rey signed off the note as ‘L’. 

Waters had directly spoken about the artists playing the festival, stating in a Facebook post that it is a “political act in support of the apartheid state” to play. Quoting Desmond Tutu, he said “if you are netural in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.

Kamasi Washington, Flying Lotus, DJ Koze, Pusha T, Yung Lean, and Ariel Pink are just some of the other artists on the line-up for the Tel Aviv festival.

The PACBI has since responded to her statement. The organisation said: “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.” 

Back in 2014, Del Rey actually cancelled what would have been her debut Israel performance. Over the years, artists like Lorde, Princess Nokia, and Lauryn Hill have cancelled shows there. In 2017, eight artists withdrew from Berlin’s Pop-Kultur festival over its partnership with the Israeli Embassy.

Read our article exploring why musicians are asked to cancel shows in Israel.