Lana Del Rey has defended her decision to perform in Israel, explaining that her choice to appear in the country is “not a political statement”.

No matter how you look at it, performing a concert in Israel is a rather controversial action for a musician to do. In the past, plenty of musicians have been criticised of supporting Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians when they’ve announced that they’re set to play a show in the country.

While Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters is undoubtedly one of the most vocal critics of bands performing in Israel, Lorde was the subject of a rather high-profile boycott appeal back in December, when she was labelled a “bigot” after cancelling her show in Tel Aviv.

“I pride myself on being an informed young citizen,” Lorde wrote in a statement at the time. “And I have done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions before deciding to book a show in Tel Aviv, but I’m not proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one.”

Now, Lana Del Rey is the latest musician to be copping heat over her decision to tour the country.

Back in 2014, Lana Del Rey cancelled her debut performance in Israel due to political upheaval in regards to Operation Protective Edge – otherwise known as the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict. Now, with the musician being confirmed for the inaugural Meteor Festival next month, it seems that she has had a change of heart.

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Taking to Twitter earlier this morning, Lana Del Rey explained to her legions of followers just why she’s deciding to go through with the performance, noting that she plans to performing with “a loving energy” and “a thematic emphasis on peace”.

“I understand many of u are upset that we’re going to Tel Aviv for the Meteor festival, I understand your concern I really get do,” Lana Del Rey began. “What I can tell you is I believe music is universal and should be used to bring us together.”

“We signed on to the show w the intention that it would be performed for the kids there and my plan was for it to be done w a loving energy w a thematic emphasis on peace. If you don’t agree with it I get it. I see both sides.”

“We don’t always agree with the politics of the places we play within or even in our own country- sometimes we don’t even feel safe, depending on how far abroad but we travel- but we are musicians and we’ve dedicated our lives to being on the road,” she continued.

“Although I have deep sentiments over what is true or not true, right or wrong- I would like to remind you that 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.”

“I’m just stating that I’m a simple singer, I’m doing my best to navigate the waters of the constant tumultuous hardships in the war-torn countries all over the world that I travel through monthly.”

“For the record I’m doing the best I can and my intentions are better than most peoples that I know.”

Following her statement, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) issued a statement asking Lana Del Rey to reconsider her decision.

“We urge you to reconsider,” the PABCI wrote on Twitter. “We doubt that you would have played in apartheid South Africa; likewise, artists refuse to play in apartheid Israel.”

“When Lorde cancelled her Tel Aviv show, the Washington Post said: ‘From now on, if it weren’t the case already, merely scheduling a concert date in Israel will be considered a political act.'”

“In response to the call by Palestinian civil society, thousands of artists from around the world have pledged not to perform in Israel until it respects the human rights of Palestinians.”

“Please respect our nonviolent picket line, and cancel your Meteor performance.”

While many of Lana Del Rey’s fans have taken to social media to share petitions and appeal to Lana Del Rey to cancel her Tel Aviv performance, the singer seems set on her decision to perform in the country.

Meteor festival kicks off in Tel Aviv in just a couple of weeks, so we’ll have to wait and see if Lana Del Rey does indeed decide to follow through with her plan of performing in the country.

UPDATE 21/08/18: Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, Australia’s leading civil rights organisation, has also weighed in on the issue, releasing a statement in support of Lana Del Rey.

“We commend Lana Del Ray for her having the courage to stand up against the forces of ignorance and hypocrisy, and to repudiate the aggressive pressure tactics of BDS activists who are determined to isolate Israel through economic and cultural warfare,” said Dr Abramovich.

“Ms Del Ray is being vilified and attacked simply because she wishes to share her beautiful singing with the people of Israel—Jews, Muslims and Christians. Engaging in malicious double standards and refusing to let the facts get in the way, the extreme BDS movement’s hostility against the only democracy in the Mid-east and the only country in the region where artistic expression is thriving, is tainted by strong anti-Semitic undertones.”

“We congratulate Ms Del ray for refusing to cave in to hatred, and for using her fame to encourage reconciliation and peace in the Middle-east. We are proud to stand in solidarity with Ms Del Ray.”

Check out Lana Del Rey’s ‘Off To The Races’:

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