Lana Del Rey defends decision to perform in Israel: 'Music is universal'

Lana Del Rey defends decision to perform in Israel

Lana Del Rey defended her decision to perform at Israeli music festival Meteor

Lana Del Rey is among the artists scheduled to perform at the upcoming Meteor Festival in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Del Rey noted that she is heading for a place "that many big bands are playing this year and at this festival".

While the singer mentions Tel Aviv in her statement, the Meteor Festival actually takes place at Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan, which is in the Upper Galilee region in northern Israel. Some 15,000 are set to gather at Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan, outside of Tiberias in the upper Galilee region of Israel, from September 6 through 8 to see 50-plus acts including ASAP Ferg, Pusha T, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington, Of Montreal, Ariel Pink and Rhye in addition to local artists like Noga Erez, Balkan Beat Box, Geva Alon and Hadag Nahash.

Western artists who perform in Israel often face protests and social media criticism from believers of the BDS movement, which calls for "boycott, divestment and sanctions" against the country. On August 19, the singer wrote, "I believe music is universal and should be used to bring us together".

"I would like to remind you that performing in Tel Aviv is not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there", she wrote.

"I" m a simple singer, i'm doing my best to navigate the waters of the constant tumultous hardships in the war-torn countries all over the world that I travel through monthly.

The BDS movement started in 2005, after a call issued by Palestinian civil society groups for "people of conscience" around the world to help end Israel's abuses against Palestinians, by cutting off cultural, academic, and economic ties with the state.

Some people aren't satisfied with Lana's stance, and have compared her performing in Israel to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era.

The cultural boycott of Israel is supported by the likes of director Ken Loach and Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, who both criticised Radiohead for playing there a year ago. "Please respect our nonviolent picket line, and cancel your Meteor performance". Other artists now on the line-up include Pusha-T, Flying Lotus, ASAP Ferg, Kamasi Washington, DJ Koze, Ariel Pink, Yung Lean, and more.

Del Rey, meanwhile, has reasserted that she doesn't "have a political opinion" but that that's "not going to stop me from sharing my political/personal passion for peace wherever I go".

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