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Lana Del Rey responds to Roger Waters asking her not to play Israel

Lana Del Rey at Terminal 5
Lana Del Rey at Terminal 5 in 2017 (more by Amanda M Hatfield)

Lana Del Rey recently announced that she’s playing Tel Aviv’s Meteor Festival in September with A$AP Ferg, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington, DJ Koze, Mura Masa, Nina Kraviz, Pusha T, Soulwax, Battles, The Black Angles, of Montreal, Rhye, Ariel Pink, Denzel Curry, and more; and she later defended her decision to perform in Israel, saying, “We don’t always agree with the politics of the places we play within or even in our own country,” and later adding, “Performing in Tel Aviv is not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there just as singing here in California doesn’t mean my views are in alignment w my current governments opinions or sometimes inhuman actions.”

A couple days later, Roger Waters — who has a tendency to urge artists not to perform in Israel — posted a lengthy open letter to Lana, saying, “I implore you, and any other act considering crossing the picket line, to perform at the Meteor Festival to consider long and hard, I have no doubt the Israeli promoters are paying top dollar, they are well known for that, but is the price worth passing up your moment on the road to Damascus and abandoning your Palestinian brothers and sisters to their fate in their hour of need ?”

Lana then replied, saying, “Roger Waters, I read your statement about taking action even when you believe in neutrality, I totally understand what you’re saying and this is my action.”

You can read Roger’s full letter and Lana’s two statements below.

A post shared by Lana Del Rey (@lanadelrey) on

ROGER WATERS’ OPEN LETTER TO LANA DEL REY

Dear Lana Del Rey

I have been reading your comments on Twitter, maybe I can help clear a couple of things up. Palestine is a unique situation in that the BDS picket line exists at the request of Palestine civil society as a whole. To respect it as I, and many others do, is a political act of support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for basic human rights. To cross it, conversely, is a political act in support of the apartheid state that would deny them those basic human rights. Even if in your heart of hearts you believe yourself to be neutral. As Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu rightly says, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” I implore you, and any other act considering crossing the picket line, to perform at the Meteor Festival to consider long and hard, I have no doubt the Israeli promoters are paying top dollar, they are well known for that, but is the price worth passing up your moment on the road to Damascus and abandoning your Palestinian brothers and sisters to their fate in their hour of need ?

Love
R.

PS. Great news just in, Black Motion cancel!
“BDS South Africa can confirm that we did reach out to the management of Black Motion, who graciously met with us, were open to the information we provided including the letter written by Palestinians (https://bdsmovement.net/meteor) and a letter by progressive Jewish Israeli allies (http://boycottisrael.info/node/346) urging artists to boycott Israel and not to perform at the upcoming Meteor Festival. We thank them for both their willingness to engage and their decision to not perform in Israel.”

Much love and respect to our brothers in Black Motion. R.

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