Lorde called a bigot in Washington Post ad over cancelled Israel concert

Advert placed by Americas rabbi Shmuley Boteach also accuses singers native New Zealand of prejudice against Israel

A full-page advert has been placed in the Washington Post calling Lorde a bigot, a week after the New Zealand-born singer cancelled a concert in Israel.

The ad, in the 31 December edition of the newspaper, was placed by outspoken rabbi Shmuley Boteachs This World: The Values Network and criticises the 21-year-old for joining a global antisemitic boycott of Israel while still performing in Russia.

It features a large photo of the singer superimposed over a picture of men running through rubble cradling babies, with the headline: Lorde and New Zealand ignore Syria to attack Israel.

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Lorde accused of anti-semitism in full page Washington Post ad as fallout from cancelled Israel concert continues https://t.co/Hc7IoCi1yT pic.twitter.com/G9WDQ4zLVX

January 1, 2018

Last month the Grammy award winner cancelled a concert scheduled in Tel Aviv for June after criticism from activists in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.

The decision also came after an open letter written by two New Zealanders argued the concert would show support for Israels occupation of Palestine.

I 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, Lorde wrote at the time. Im not too proud to admit I didnt make the right call on this one.

The ad says Lordes decision showed how a growing prejudice against the Jewish state in New Zealand was trickling down to its youth.

It cites New Zealands choice in December to vote, along with 127 countries, in favour of a UN resolution calling for the US to withdraw its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

It also criticises New Zealands co-sponsorship last year of a UN resolution that condemned Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory and caused a six-month diplomatic rift with Israel.

Regarded by his critics as a rightwing self-publicist who styles himself as Americas rabbi, Boteach was widely criticised in 2015 for a similar full-page advert in the New York Times accusing Barack Obamas then national security adviser Susan Rice of turning a blind eye to the Rwandan genocide when she was on President Bill Clintons national security team in the 1990s.

Boteach rowed back amid strong criticism at the time, saying: It was construed by some as a personal attack, that is certainly and absolutely not its intent.

While Boteach whose organisation is funded by the controversial US casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has been quick to level suggestions of antisemitism at figures he regards as anti-Israel, he has also had no qualms about defending others on the right from the same accusation, including Steve Bannon and the Breitbart website.

In 2016, Boteach defended Bannon from accusations made by Jonathan Greenblatt of the US Anti-Defamation League, who criticised Bannons appointment as a White House adviser, saying it was a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the alt-right a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed antisemites and racists is slated to be a senior staff member in the peoples house.

In an open letter to Greenblatt, Boteach vouched for Bannon, saying it was unfair to object to his appointment on the basis of Breitbarts content or audience.

Boteach has accused numerous high-profile figures and institutions whose views on Israel and the Israeli occupation he disagrees with being antisemitic, including the former US secretary of state John Kerry who he accused of devalu[ing] Jewish lives, and appear[ing] to justify the spilling of Jewish blood, over his pursuit of an Iranian nuclear deal.

Australian Associated Press contributed to this report

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/jan/01/lorde-called-a-bigot-over-israel-stance-in-full-page-washington-post-ad

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