Anti-Israeli Groups Step Up Pressure Against Lana Del Rey as 8 Artists Abandon the Meteor Festival

Graphic created by BDS, an anti-Israeli group protesting Lana Del Rey's scheduled performance at the Meteor Festival in Israel.
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Graphic created by BDS, an anti-Israeli group protesting Lana Del Rey's scheduled performance at the Meteor Festival in Israel.
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Graphic created by BDS, an anti-Israeli group protesting Lana Del Rey’s scheduled performance at the Meteor Festival in Israel.

Anti-Israeli groups like BDS are stepping up pressure against Lana Del Rey and other artists scheduled to perform at the Meteor Festival in Israel next month.

Last week, a group of more than 50 top entertainment and music industry executives publicly backed Lana Del Rey and her decision to play the Meteor Festival in northern Israel next month.  The letter, signed by notable music industry executives like Daniel Glass, Donald Passman, and Gery Gersh, offered strong support for Lana Del Rey’s resolve to play the festival, particularly following pointed protests from Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters.

But Waters isn’t the only critic here.  BDS, an anti-Israeli group, has been putting heavy pressure on artists to pull out of Meteor.  So far, the group claims credit for convincing eight acts to pull out of the event, though bigger draws like Lana Del Rey, A$AP Ferg, and Kamasi Washington are still on the bill.

The Meteor Festival is scheduled for September 6-8 in the northern Galilee region of Israel.

So far, the artists confirming their cancellations are Shanti Celeste, DJ Python, DJ Seinfeld, Khalas & Zenobia, Ross From Friends, How to Dress Well, Dead Boy, and Black Motion.  But according to the Jerusalem Post, two new acts have been added: British DJs Secretsundaze and Dan Shake.

Others may also be pulling out (or jumping in), though these are the movements that have been confirmed so far.

The Post noted that BDS had ‘taken a toll’ on Meteor, though it’s unclear if broader attendance or revenues will be affected.

Right now, the only pullouts involve lesser-known acts.

The ‘BDS’ in BDS Movement stands for ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,’ with a massive Israeli boycott a major goal of the organization.   A petition from the group, which was also signed by Jewish Voice for Peace, claims that Lana Del Rey’s involvement makes her complicit with Israel’s policies, despite the singer’s claim that her performance is entirely apolitical.

“Please don’t let your music serve to cover up gross violations of human rights and violate the Palestinian picket line,” the petition reads.  “We ask that you cancel your September concert at the Meteor Festival in Israel, and refrain from harming the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”

“There’s no neutrality in situations of injustice. Please stand with us on the right side of history to create a better world for all.”

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which also backs the boycott, recently tweeted to Lana Del Rey:

“We doubt you would have played in apartheid South Africa; likewise artists refuse to play in apartheid Israel.”

Incidentally, a number of major artists have declined to perform at Israeli events in the past, for various reasons.  That includes Shakira, Gilberto Gil, Fat Joe, Tyga, and Natalie Portman, though plenty of others have decided to play in the country.  That of course includes Lana Del Rey, but also superstars like Radiohead, Enrique Iglesias, and Jason Derulo.

Back in 2014, Lana Del Rey canceled a performance in Tel Aviv due to security issues.  It’s now clear that the pullout was not based on politics, but violence in the region.

The Meteor Festival itself has also responded, noting that its event is inherently apolitical and focused on music.

“We built this event brick by brick by ourselves, asking or receiving no support, funds or benefits from any governmental or political entity,” festival organizers stated.  “Therefore, affiliating us with that is nothing short of absurd – as in fact, we’re pretty much the only festival in the world who’s 100% politics free.”

“No one will make us hate, that includes the BDS which insanely politicized our event.”



11 Responses

  1. ceylon mooney

    hire a fact checker

    jewish voice for peace is not an anti-israel group, and BDS is not an anti-israel effort.

    BDS is not a group or an organization. three methods to pressure apartheid israel to end the occupation the same way it pressured apartheid south africa to end apartheid. the situations are not identical but very similar, hence the south african anti apartheid movement drawing the connection so strongly and helping to get the BDS campaign/movement going.

    • max

      South African apartheid and Israel are not remotely similar. South Africa had different laws and rights for its black citizens within its borders. The Palestinians live outside of Israel, with their own elected governments, and declare themselves to be sworn enemies of Israel. If at any given time, the Palestinian leadership would proclaim that they recognize Israel, renounce violence, and are willing to negotiate on borders and security, their restrictions would be lifted.

    • hmmm

      think the author got this one right

      these groups (or movements or whatever you call them ) oppose Israel (or jewish state in the middle east or whatever you call it)

      sounds anti-israel to me

      • Pebah

        Of course it is anti-Israel, and arguably could be called anti-Semitic. It’s a propaganda war with no particular goal than the self-aggrandizement of the BDSers–do they actually personally care about Palestinians? Are they in that country doing self-sacrificing relief work? Are they working there to build up a citizenry that understands rights and responsibilities, compassion, and the rule of law?

        And Israel isn’t going anywhere, they’ve been in a battle for survival for 60 years and aren’t going to give up now. The Palestinians themselves won’t cooperate with anyone, the leaders personally have too much to lose.

        If Lana hangs on she will demonstrate real fortitude; the eight others apparently were easily cowed.

        This situation is no real comparison to South Africa. And look what shape that country is in now–rife with corruption.

        And finally, this is the music biz. Lots of Jews. They aren’t going to start pressuring anyone to become anti-Israeli.

    • k

      how about you do the fact checking, there is no Apartheid in Israel so anything else you are saying is garbage

    • Musicians for Israel

      Oh yes they ARE, no matter how you try to spin it. Follow the $$$ that BDS, JFP, and the like receive and you’ll learn all you need to know about these malevolent anti-Semitic groups filled with virtue signalers, some of whom are actually brainwashed Jews who are so desperate to “belong,” they support this non-sense.
      Please do boycott by smashing your computer, cell phone. Stop using most software you use and all the other Israeli inventions you’re currently using every minute of every daily. And when you need life saving medicine or a cancer cure, boycott that too. #bdshypocrites

  2. Russell

    To say BDS is “anti-Israel” is like saying Archbishop Desmond Tutu is “anti-South Africa.” BDS and its supporters like Jewish Voice for Peace have specific goals around ending apartheid, stopping the occupation and respecting the UN resolution on the Palestinian right of return.
    When artists broke the boycott of apartheid South Africa the excuse by the artists that they were apolitical and just wanted to share their music was as unconvincing as Lana Del Rey is now. It’s no surprise the boycott Lana Del Rey plans to break is also supported by Desmond Tutu… he recognizes apartheid when he sees it.

  3. k

    all these people have is clever propaganda, I am hoping Lana is intelligent enough to not fall for it