More than one hundred cultural figures have signed an open letter in support of Lorde, the New Zealand pop star, after she was accused of bigotry following the cancelation of a concert scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv this June.
According to the Art Newspaper, artists such as Shepard Fairey, John Keane, Peter Kennard, and Emily Young are standing up for the singer-songwriter after the online platform This World: The Values Network, run by Shmuley Boteachan American Orthodox Jewish rabbi, author, and TV hosttook out a full-page ad in the Washington Post to criticize Lorde for joining “a global anti-Semitic boycott of Israel.” The ad shows a photo of the musician superimposed over an image of men running through rubble with the tagline, “Lorde and New Zealand Ignore Syria to Attack Israel.”
Rallying to Lorde’s defense, the open letter claims that Boteach “has nothing to teach artists about human rights” and cites a letter he wrote to thank Donald Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month. “We deplore the bullying tactics being used to defend injustice against Palestinians and to suppress an artist’s freedom of conscience,” the letter reads. After facing backlash from activists campaigning for Palestinian rights, Lorde announced on December 24 she would not perform in Israel on June 5.