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Lana Del Rey Defends Decision to Perform in Israel

"I believe music is universal and should be used to bring us together," says the singer who's scheduled to play the Meteor Festival on Sept. 7.

Lana Del Rey has defended her decision to perform at Israel’s Meteor Festival on Friday, Sept. 7. On August 19, the singer wrote, “I believe music is universal and should be used to bring us together. … Performing in Tel Aviv is not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there just like singing here in California doesn’t mean my views are in alignment w my current governments opinions or sometimes inhuman actions.”

Western artists who perform in Israel often face protests and social media criticism from believers of the BDS movement, which calls for “boycott, divestment and sanctions” against the country. Among the most vocal proponents of the stance is Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters.

Seizing the opportunity to reflect on America’s own government, in the wake of comments made by Trump’s lead attorney in the Mueller investigation, Rudy Guiliani, that “truth isn’t truth,” Del Rey notes that she “sees both sides” to the decades-long conflict, but adds, “I’m not in anyway likening the gravity of certain travesties that have occurred in Israel to the current hardships we’re facing here.”

Her plan, she notes, is to perform “with a loving energy with a thematic emphasis on peace.”

Headlining the Meteor Festival will be Del Rey’s performance in Israel. Some 15,000 are set to gather at Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan, outside of Tiberias in the upper Galilee region of Israel, from Sept. 6 through 8 to see 50-plus acts including ASAP Ferg, Pusha T, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington, Of Montreal, Ariel Pink and Rhye in addition to local artists like Noga Erez, Balkan Beat Box, Geva Alon and Hadag Nahash.

The brainchild of Eran Arielli, whose Tel Aviv-based concert promotion company Naranjah is responsible for bringing scores of beloved Western indie bands to the country as well as major artists like Radiohead, Meteor bills itself as “a cutting edge musical journey that surpasses borders and distorts time and space” and touts is location in the Upper Galilee as the “spot for out-of-body experiences, since the dawn of history.”

Read Del Rey’s statements here and below.

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