Accessibility links

Lauryn Hill Cancels Israel Show to Avoid Stirring Tensions

  • Associated Press

FILE - Lauryn Hill performs at the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans.

FILE - Lauryn Hill performs at the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans.

Lauryn Hill is canceling a planned performance in Tel Aviv because she wasn't able to also schedule a concert in the nearby Palestinian city of Ramallah.

The singer-songwriter said in a statement Monday that she originally intended to perform in both cities in hopes of being "a presence supporting justice and peace.''

She says setting up a show in the Palestinian territories "proved to be a challenge.'' Not wanting to alienate fans, Hill canceled her concert in Israel that was to take place later this week.

Hill says she's seeking a different approach to bring her music to fans in the region. She says she's hoping for healing in the area and "the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation.''

In recent years, pro-Palestinian activists have launched a global campaign calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel to protest its policies toward the Palestinians.

The BDS movement has included calls for a cultural boycott of the Jewish state. Hill joins a list of performers that includes Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters and Elvis Costello who have refused to perform in Israel because of political reasons.

Israeli supporters say the BDS movement is counterproductive and in some cases thinly veiled anti-Semitism. They note that a prominent list of entertainers, including Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Justin Timberlake, Madonna and Lady Gaga have all performed in Israel in recent years. Last weekend, English singer Robbie Williams performed in Tel Aviv.