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Dozens of artists sign pledge in support of Lorde's decision to cancel Tel Aviv show

Jan. 6, 2018 5:02 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 9, 2018 4:11 P.M.)
Palestinians walk past a sign painted on a wall in the West Bank biblical town of Bethlehem calling to boycott Israeli products coming from settlements, 2015. ( AFP/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- More than 100 actors, musicians, writers and directors have signed a pledge of support of New Zealand pop singer Lorde, who last month decided to cancel her planned concert in Tel Aviv over pressure from the Boycott , Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS).

Following her announcement to schedule her June show in Tel Aviv, the singer received waves of backlash from the international zionist lobby that accused her of being a bigot and an anti semite.

On Friday, The Guardian published a pledge of support for Lorde, which was signed by dozens of public figures, including Mark Ruffalo, Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, Viggo Mortensen, Tom Morello, John Cusack, Julie Christie, Shepard Fairey, Eve Ensler, Angela Davis, Talib Kweli, and James Schamus.

"We write in support of Lorde, who made public her decision not to perform in Israel and has now been branded a 'bigot’ in a full page advertisement in the Washington Post," the letter said.

"We deplore the bullying tactics being used to defend injustice against Palestinians and to suppress an artist's freedom of conscience. We support Lorde's right to take a stand," it added.

The BDS movement was founded in July 2005 by a swath of Palestinian civil society as a peaceful movement to restore Palestinian rights in accordance with international law through strategies of boycotting Israeli products and cultural institutions, divesting from companies complicit in violations against Palestinians, and implementing state sanctions against the Israeli government.

The Israeli government, meanwhile, has grown increasingly concerned about the growth of the BDS movement, as the movement’s support base has expanded to include companies, universities, and religious institutions around the world divesting from organizations complicit in Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights.

In January 2016, the Israeli Knesset held a conference to discuss ways to combat BDS, and dedicated 100 million shekels ($26 million) of the government’s 2016 budget to the issue.

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