2 Jan 2018

Lorde labelled a 'bigot' in controversial ad

2:07 pm on 2 January 2018

The New Zealand Jewish Council is distancing itself from a full-page ad taken out in the Washington Post by a pro-Israel group calling singer Lorde a 'bigot' and criticising New Zealand's stance on Israel.

Lorde on stage at the Dunedin Town Hall

Lorde on stage at the Dunedin Town Hall Photo: Alex Lovell-Smith

The ad, funded by The World Values Network, in the 31 December paper, headlined "Lorde and New Zealand ignore Syria to attack Israel", slams the Green Light singer for cancelling a planned show in Tel Aviv.

It said she's a bigot and a hypocrite for cancelling her show in Tel Aviv, yet still planning to play in Russia, despite what the ad describes as its litany of human rights abuses.

"Tragically, New Zealand's growing prejudice against the Jewish State seems to be trickling down to its youth," it said.

"Let's boycott the boycotters and tell Lorde and her fellow bigots that Jew-hatred has no place in the twenty-first-century."

Lorde cancelled the show after receiving backlash and getting what she said was an overwhelming number of calls.

"I've received an overwhelming number of messages and letters and have had a lot of discussions with people holding many views, and I think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show," she said.

"I'm not too proud to admit I didn't make the right call on this one. I'm truly sorry to reverse my commitment to come play for you."

The ad also criticises New Zealand's sponsorship of a UN resolution condemning Jewish settlements in occupied territories and the vote denouncing America's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The Government refused to comment on criticism against New Zealand's position at the United Nations saying it was an advert paid for by an individual targeting a pop star.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also declined to comment.

On Monday, the Jewish Council said they are "disappointed with Lorde's decision to cancel her show after pressure from the discriminatory BDS movement and invite Lorde to continue learning about the region."

However, the New Zealand Jewish Council said the ad doesn't promote understanding or engagement.

It also distances itself from what it calls inflammatory and aggressive material from Palestinian-led groups.

Some people have taken to Twitter to express their distaste for the ad.

One Twitter user, James J. Zogby, said it is "completely over-the-top."

Another user, Craig, said "a full page ad in a newspaper bullying a 21-year-old young lady is despicable".

Last week, Israel's ambassador to New Zealand Itzhak Gerberg asked to meet with Lorde to try and convince her that her cancelled show was 'a mistake'.

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