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Lana Del Rey’s decision to perform in Israel dismisses Israeli injustices

Lana Del Rey’s decision to perform in Israel dismisses Israeli injustices

Lana Del Rey’s decision to perform in Israel dismisses Israeli injustices
August 30
15:00 2018

It has been recently announced that Lana Del Rey is planning on performing in Tel Aviv, Israel for the upcoming Meteor Festival from Sept. 7-8. Despite receiving social media protest from fans, activists and Palestinians who have criticized and urged the artist to reconsider, Del Rey appears to remain firm in her misguided decision to perform.

The widespread outrage regarding artists performing in Israel is a product of decades of history involving systematic violation of human rights and ethnic cleansing. A UN report in 2017 concluded Israel was implementing an apartheid regime on Palestinians in which they had been denied fundamental rights because of religious inclusivity and racism.

Thus, the controversial yet important introduction of the human rights movement Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. BDS is a movement rooted in nonviolence and protecting human rights. This aims to humanize and help Palestinian refugees who want to return home and encourages Israel to comply with international law.

The organization, alongside fans, has asked artists to refrain from performing at the Meteor Festival. Many believe that in circumstances of political upheaval and inhumane treatment of others, there is no middle ground of neutrality. Others, including Del Rey, like to believe music is not a political statement but rather a grounds for healing.

In a Twitter post directed toward backlash, Del Rey curated a cheap response that gave us insight into why she is going through with her performance in a way that successfully undermined Palestinian activism.

I want to understand how one can separate political and social aspects of the situation when Palestinian citizens of Israel are oppressed by territories and the continuous growth of Israeli infrastructures. If you are so concerned with “peace” and creating “loving energy,” why choose to perform in a place where many Palestinian children and fans will not be able to attend? Specifically, in Gaza, nearly 50 percent of the population is restricted by travel bans and containment.

The decision to perform in Israel against wishes of activists proves to be an unsympathetic and highly political decision whether Del Rey is aware of this.

Del Rey performing in Tel Aviv invalidates civil rights. Pro-Israel groups use these performances to downplay the severity of the circumstances, extending an argument along the lines of, “How bad could it really be if westernized artists feel comfortable to perform where others claim injustice and apartheid?”

In response to fans via Twitter, Del Rey even goes as far to say that her presence could help shift the “energetic vibration” of Israel. Hold on. What does that even mean? Israeli forces have murdered more than 170 protesters in Gaza since March 30 of this year and have injured more than 18,000. Twenty-five children are included in the death toll. It seems illogical to believe a western pop singer’s “good vibes” would to anything to promote change for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

So the artist doesn’t want to make a political statement, yet simultaneously feels the need to promote peaceful relations. I think the answer to this contradiction can be found in both the state of Israel and the territories of Palestine. Why not perform for both, Del Rey?

Featured Illustration: Chelsea Tolin

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madeline chalkley

madeline chalkley

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1 Comment

  1. BritLaswell
    BritLaswell September 04, 17:00

    Such an ignorant one sided article from an individual who claims to be educated. While it may be the fashionable thing to support Palestinians, try having your neighbors come onto your property and attempt to injure or kill you and your loved ones. The British mandate established a jewish homeland. Get over it, and get over yourself.

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