The New Zealand Jewish community is defending home-grown pop star Lorde from accusations in a full-page ad that she is a bigot and anti-Semite for canceling a performance in Israel, despite its disappointment over the singer’s decision.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach criticized the young artist in the Washington Post ad published on Monday.
“While Lorde claims to be concerned with human rights, she hypocritically chose to proceed with her two concerts in Putin’s Russia, despite his support for [Syrian president Bashar al-]Assad’s genocidal regime,” the ad says. “Let’s boycott the boycotters and tell Lorde and her fellow bigots that Jew-hatred has no place in the twenty-first century.”
Juliet Moses, spokeswoman for the New Zealand Jewish Council, stood by Lorde.
“We think it’s inflammatory, we think it’s unnecessary to accuse Lorde of being bigot, and we think it essentially promotes intransigence on both sides of the issue,” she told the local media. “She has made that decision and we certainly don’t believe she should be bullied for doing so.”
Moses later told JTA: “We are deeply disappointed that Lorde has succumbed to a small but loud group of extremist bullies. …By cancelling her show, Lorde has sided with those who support the isolation and demonization of the one Jewish state in the world. She has ignored the moderate voices, including the vast majority of Jewish Kiwis, who believe in dialogue and co-existence, and the leading musicians like Radiohead, Nick Cave, Guns N Roses and Justin Bieber who have performed in Tel Aviv in the last year.”