Middle East, News

Lauryn Hill cancels Israel show after cultural boycott pressure

Pop star says she wanted to perform in the Palestinian territories as well, but logistics ‘proved to be a challenge’.

The US pop star Lauryn Hill has cancelled a concert in Israel, just three days before she was due to perform, saying she had tried unsuccessfully to perform in the Palestinian territories as well.

The former Fugees singer had been scheduled to perform on 7 May near Tel Aviv, but faced a social media campaign by activists who urged her to boycott Israelover its occupation of Palestinian land.

Hill said she wanted to schedule a second show in Ramallah in the West Bank but the logistics “proved to be a challenge”.

Hill said she would “seek a different strategy to bring my music to all of my fans in the region”.

Activists pressured Hill to cancel, with a campaign that quoted Killing Me Softly – a cover song she is famous for – to describe Israeli policies.

Israel has faced boycott calls by artists, academics and musicians including Roger Waters and Brian Eno, who hope such cultural ostracisation can change Israeli policies.

But Israel’s defenders have fought against the campaign and musicians such asPaul McCartney and Elton John have played there.

Hill came to prominence in the mid-1990s with the Fugees, which also featured Haitian American Wyclef Jean and incorporated elements of hip-hop and Caribbean music into R&B.

The library of congress recently inducted The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – her introspective 1998 solo album, written while pregnant – into the national recording registry of important works

After the album, Hill decided to drop out of the public eye. She later re-emerged with a variety of side projects and served a brief prison term over tax evasion.

Resource: The Guardian, May 5, 2015

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