The education of Lauryn Hill. Artist cancels gig in Israel.

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Tel Aviv, Israel (TFC) – In a courageous and principled move, American artist and ex Fugees member Ms. Lauryn Hill has announced the cancellation of her gig in Tel Aviv scheduled for this Thursday night.

On her Facebook page, Ms. Hill’s statement early on Monday read;

Dear Friends and Fans in Israel,

When deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge. I’ve wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace. It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the upcoming performance in Israel, and seek a different strategy to bring my music to ALL of my fans in the region. May healing, equanimity, and the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation come to this region and its people.

Respectfully,
Ms. Lauryn Hill

Due to play Rishon Letzion’s Live Park amphitheatre, Lauryn Hill was subject to pressure from activists from the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement including this video made by activists.

Since her announcement early on Monday evening, Ms. Hill’s facebook page has been deluged with hundreds of comments from grateful Palestinian solidarity activists and unhappy fans.

Despite his role as UNICEF UK ambassador, Robbie Williams chose to ignore the ‘Robbie Williams, Let’s not entertain apartheid’ campaign as well as pleas not to perform by  Pink Floyd’s ex front man Roger Waters. After going ahead with his gig in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening he was quoted as saying.

“I’ve always wanted to visit Israel and to see you and feel you, and I think now I have.”

The BDS global movement was called for by Palestinian civil society in 2005 and targets international and Israeli companies profiting from the violation of Palestinian rights as well as Israeli sports, cultural and academic institutions. Various forms of boycott against Israel are urged until it meets its obligations under international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

On hearing of Ms. Hill’s decision, Haidar Eid from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, said:

“We’re delighted that Lauryn Hill has decided not to perform in Israel. A growing number of mainstream artists are catching up with public opinion and now understand that playing in Israel helps it to whitewash its colonial oppression of Palestinians. Israeli promoters are finding it increasingly difficult to book big names to perform in Israel.”

While Robbie Williams stuck two fingers up at the BDS movement this week, campaigners all over the world are tonight victorious at Ms. Hill’s decision to take a stand for humanity and human rights.