Rebuffing BDS call, Lana Del Rey says she’ll also visit Palestinians

Rebuffing BDS call, Lana Del Rey says she’ll also visit Palestinians

Singer says she wants ‘peace for both Israel and Palestine,’ rejects Roger Waters’ call for boycott of upcoming Meteor Festival in Israel

Lana Del Rey arrives at the 2016 Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Viewing Party at West Hollywood Park on February 28, 2016, in West Hollywood, California, US. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)
Lana Del Rey arrives at the 2016 Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Viewing Party at West Hollywood Park on February 28, 2016, in West Hollywood, California, US. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

Singer Lana Del Rey said she will visit Palestinian territories as well during her visit to Israel to perform at the Meteor Festival on September 7, resisting calls by the BDS campaign to boycott the Jewish state.

In an Instagram post published late Tuesday, the American musician said she wants “peace for both Israel and Palestine.”

“We will still be playing our show in Israel,” she wrote. “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.”

She also personally answered former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters, a prominent anti-Israel BDS activist who published an open letter urging her to boycott the festival.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, Waters said performing in Israel would be “a political act in support of the apartheid state that would deny [Palestinians] basic human rights. Even if in your heart of hearts you believe yourself to be neutral.”

Dear Lana Del ReyI have been reading your comments on Twitter, maybe I can help clear a couple of things up. Palestine…

Posted by Roger Waters on Tuesday, 21 August 2018

“I implore you, and any other act considering crossing the picket line, to perform at the Meteor Festival to consider long and hard,” Waters added.

“I have no doubt the Israeli promoters are paying top dollar, they are well known for that, but is the price worth passing up your moment on the road to Damascus and abandoning your Palestinian brothers and sisters to their fate in their hour of need?”

Del Rey’s response, while showing respect toward Waters, rebuffed his call.

A post shared by Lana Del Rey (@lanadelrey) on

“I read your statement about taking action even when you believe in neutrality, I totally understand what you’re saying and this is my action,” she said, referring to her decision to also visit Palestinian territories.

Del Rey, whose original name is Elizabeth “Lizzy” Woolridge Grant, previously said her decision to play the three-day Meteor Festival in the Galilee was not a statement of support for Israeli government policies.

“I would like to remind you that performing in Tel Aviv is not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there just as singing here in California doesn’t mean my views are in alignment w my current governments opinions or sometimes inhuman actions,” she wrote.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel responded to the statement by citing New Zealand singer Lorde, who canceled a show in Israel late last year and had proclaimed that just performing in Tel Aviv would be considered a political act.

Nearly every large act to book a show in Israel has come under pressure from pro-Palestinian activists as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. While some, like Lorde, Elvis Costello and Cat Power, have canceled gigs, most have resisted the boycott effort.

Lana Del Rey performs during the LA to the Moon Tour at Philips Arena on February 5, 2018, in Atlanta. (Photo by Robb Cohen/Invision/AP)

Some other artists slated for the festival, which will see some 50 international and local acts perform on September 6-8, have also apparently come under pressure. South African rap duo Black Motion was said on Wednesday by BDS to have canceled its participation after meeting with the country’s boycott campaign members.

Del Rey had planned to perform in Israel in 2014 but was forced to cancel due to the Operation Protective Edge conflict between Hamas and Israel in Gaza.

A self-styled “gangsta Nancy Sinatra,” the singer is known for her sultry, gravelly voice and music that refers to the pop culture of the 1950s and 1960s.

Her latest album, 2017’s Grammy-nominated “Lust for Life,” reached number one in the US Billboard 200 and in charts around the world.

Her songs have appeared in many movie soundtracks, including The Great Gatsby (2013), Maleficent (2014), and Big Eyes (2014).

She will be joined at the festival by international acts such as Of Montreal, Rappers Pusha-T and A$AP Ferg, electronic musician Flying Lotus, American jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington, and Russian DJ Nina Kraviz, as well as dozens of local performers, including Fortis, Berry Sakharov, ACollective, Assaf Amdursky, Ester Rada, Hadag Nachash, Jane Bordeaux, Khalas, Noga Erez and Balkan Beat Box.

The festival is slated to be held at Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan on the Jordan River in the Upper Galilee. Participants will camp under the pecan trees, watching shows on five stages, and can buy full event or day passes.

Jessica Steinberg contributed to this report.

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