Lauryn Hill has nixed a planned concert for Israel after coming under fire from a social media campaign that called on her to boycott the Jewish state.
The former Fugees singer was due to perform in Tel Aviv on Thursday but chose to cancel the show because she did not want to be seen aligning herself with a particular side amid the conflict in the Middle East.
Hill admits she had wanted to schedule a second show in Ramallah on the West Bank, an area of political tension, but she ran into logistical problems.
In a post on her website, she wrote, “When deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge. I’ve wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace. It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the upcoming performance in Israel, and seek a different strategy to bring my music to all of my fans in the region. May healing, equanimity, and the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation come to this region and its people.”
The boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) campaign seeks to ostracize Israel, and systematically pressures artists to cancel shows in the Jewish state.