Rabbi who called Lorde 'a bigot’ offers to fly to NZ to discuss

Drive 05/01/2018
Photo: Reuters.

When Lorde cancelled her plans to perform in Tel Aviv in late December 2017, the pop start received a backlash from pro-Israel groups around the world.

One of her critics was Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. He was the man behind the full-page The Washington Post advertisement calling the Kiwi star a “bigot”.  

Rabbi Boteach joins Summer Drive with Lloyd Burr to discuss his take on Lorde’s Israel concert cancellation.

“She decided to cancel based on pressure on people who seek the economic destruction of the Jewish State of Israel.”

[Lorde] helped to demonise the Jewish state. 

In late December 2017, Lorde announced a concert in Tel Aviv in June as part of her Melodrama World Tour. The Spinoff later published a letter urging Lorde not to play her concert in Tel Aviv, arguing that the concert would show support for Israel's occupation of Palestine.

The letter prompted more pressure from pro-Palestinian activists, including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS has advocated for a cultural boycott of Israel to pressure Israel to end its occupation of the territory Palestinians seek for a state.

“When she joins a movement that seeks an economic destruction of the State of Israel, she has to be held accountable,” says Rabbi Boteach, who argues that if you boycott Israel, you’re a member of BDS.

But Rabbi Boteach’s chief concern is with Lorde’s concert in Russia, which is booked for May 29.

He points out that Vladimir Putin supports the Assad regime in Syria, which has received a violent backlash from rebels and led to millions to be displaced.

“But she’s still going to Putin’s Russia; she only has a problem with the Jewish state of Israel,” he says.

“I can’t imagine anyone with a working moral compass who could defend her decision.”

“She decided to boycott Israel for no reason whatsoever.”

“I tell you what - I’m willing to come on your show next week with Lorde.” he says. “Please invite her.”

Listen to the full interview with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach above.

Summer Drive with Lloyd Burr, 3pm - 6pm and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.