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Reader Post: Oh Lorde! Listening to the BDS Music

Not everything is how it seems. This has never been more the case thanks to Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor. Who you’re asking? She’s Lorde – the singer who’s in the news for canceling her Israel concert.

Typically entertainers cancel their tours when ticket sales are poor and then they can attribute it to BDS.

The only surprising thing about this whole incident is that she considered to play Israel in the first place – didn’t she see listen to what Borat said?

The Melodrama World Tour began in September and will wrap up in May. Along the way, she has stops in places such as Miami, Melbourne, Milan and Birmingham.

Birmingham holds a special place in Israeli music history as it’s where Israel, lead by Dana International, last won the Eurovision Song Contest.

International is many things and one of them is a proud Israeli

Once in Europe she was asked to defend her nation.

“You need to shut your mouths, you have murdered millions and millions of people throughout history. ” “You conquered half of the world. You raped Africa, you raped half of the world. Bring back Africa’s money.”

“Shut up Dutch people! Shut up Belgians! Shut up British people! Bring back Africa’s money! Don’t say any bad word about Israel.”

That’s a person who knows history or is it her story?

This leads us to the Jewish Kiwi and Palestinian New Zealander who penned a letter to Lorde and then took the credit for the cancellation – much like the person who prays that Barcelona will win and personally claims the victory when Messi scores a hat-trick.

Since the announcement, people have been in stampede to denounce Lorde, but did she have a choice? This letter was so convincing that she had no alternative.

Let’s take a look at it:

Dear Lorde,

We’re writing to you about your planned performance in Israel. We’re two young women based in Aotearoa, one Jewish, one Palestinian. We write this with the knowledge we might be imposing on some Vogels-fuelled downtime here, but we feel strongly about this and we’d really appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to hear us out.

Aotearoa??? Where is that? Leftover sets from Lord of the Rings that they turned into a village? No it’s the Maori name for New Zealand.

Our names are Justine and Nadia. Justine is part of Dayenu. Dayenu is a group of young New Zealand Jews against the occupation of Palestine. ‘Dayenu’ is a popular holiday song, sung during Passover. It translates roughly to “it would have been enough for us”. The driving principle of Dayenu is saying “enough” to Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.

So now we’re back to plain old New Zealand? Has Justine read the words to Dayenu?

If He had executed justice upon the Egyptians.

If He had drowned our oppressors.

If He had slain their first-born.

I’m guessing no

Nadia is a Palestinian New Zealander. Her family live under occupation in the West Bank. Today her dad is a teacher in a well known New Zealand school, but was born in a cave (yes a cave, this shit be biblical) on family land north of Hebron. This land was the lifeblood of her family, until with the help of the Israeli state, Israeli settlers moved in. They stole the land and razed olive groves to the ground. Her family experience daily humiliation, violence and brutality at the hands of Israel.

Who else in the bible was born in a cave? The grand/children of Lot. Not sure you want to be going there.

The two of us work together (with others) for peace and justice in the Middle East and an end to Israeli apartheid. People often will say that the Israel-Palestine debacle is melodrama that dates back millennia. Thing is, like with a lot of situations of oppression, it’s actually quite straightforward once you start hearing about what’s really happening.

Thank you for putting (with others) there otherwise we would have thought the two of you were bringing peace to the Middle East on your own. Well maybe the two of you with some help from Gandalf

Since 1967, Israel has militarily occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip. The occupation is considered an affront to international law and Israeli settlements in the area explicitly violate the Geneva Convention. The military occupation of Palestinian territories has resulted in an apartheid state. Palestinians living in the occupied territories do not enjoy the same rights Israeli citizens enjoy, they are denied freedom of movement and often basic services and necessities.

Geneva Convention fun fact. It was created by a guy called Henry Dunant who also founded the Red Cross and was the first winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Geneva Convention funner fact: Theodore Herzl dubbed Dunant a “Christian Zionist,” and invited him to the first Zionist Congress. Dunant also began advocating for the restoration of the Jews to Palestine and founded the International Society for the Renewal of the Orient. In the mid 19th Century he was calling for the establishment of a Jewish colony in Palestine.

Today, millions of people stand opposed to the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, ethnic cleansing, human rights violations, occupation and apartheid. As part of this struggle, we believe that an economic, intellectual and artistic boycott is an effective way of speaking out against these crimes. This worked very effectively against apartheid in South Africa, and we hope it can work again.

Given you are sincere about the boycott you need to go all the way. Please delete your Facebook accounts. Although not sure how you would even be on Facebook given any way to access it involves Israeli technology.

Israel’s violations are so brutal, Nelson Mandela’s own grandson, Mandla Mandela, said: “The settlements I saw here [in the West Bank] reminded me of what we had suffered in South Africa because we also were surrounded by many settlements and were not allowed to move from one place to another freely. Palestinians are being subjected to the worst version of apartheid.” He added, “Israel is the worst apartheid regime” and called for the continued support of the boycott movement.

Mandla Mandela Fun Fact: He said that when he finished school his ambition was to be a DJ, but when he told this to Mr Mandela, the former president replied: “What’s a DJ?”

“I said: ‘A Disk Jockey’. He said: ‘Nonsense, no Mandela will ever become such, you need to go out and find a career.’

Mandla Mandela Trivia: He converted to Islam in order to marry his 4th wife.

The weeks prior to your tour announcement have been a difficult time for Palestinians. Particularly after the Trump administration’s decision to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Since the 6th of December Israel has killed 11 Palestinians, injured 3000 and detained 350. The dead include Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, a 29-year-old wheelchair user and Palestinian activist. Ibrahim was killed during a protest. Ibrahim, a double amputee, lost his legs in 2008 during an Israeli airstrike. Now, the Israeli military has also taken his life. The detained includes, numerous women and children, such as 16-year old girl and activist Ahed Tamimi. Ahed is now in jail, she was arrested during an Israeli military dawn raid on her home.

Wheelchair user? Who says that?!?

Anyhow Ibrahim Abu Thuraya is an interesting story.  There are many versions of it

As fans of yours, we know that you’re an empathetic artist who is committed to the empowerment of women, the LGBTIQ community and people of colour. We’ve watched as you’ve used your platform to draw attention to institutional racism, sexism and white privilege. You’ve talked about the need to “stay informed and stay outraged” about the intolerant and discriminatory policies of the Trump administration. We only ask you do the same with the Israeli government.

Wonder what Justine thinks of the treatment of homosexuals in the West Bank and Gaza?
If she wanted to get married in the Palestinian territories she couldn’t; if she wanted to adopt she couldn’t, and if she wanted to serve in the military and fight Israel she couldn’t.

Israel might seem like a world away from New Zealand but that shouldn’t stop us from speaking out and being on the right side of history. In 1981 New Zealanders took to the streets to protest the Springbok tour and South African apartheid. It’s remembered proudly now, so it’s easy to forget that at the time this stuff was seriously fraught. Many argued the politics of apartheid shouldn’t be brought into sport. People will say the same about music.

Not sure there’s ever a time when people don’t try to bring politics with sport. Such as the 1936 Olympics, 1972 Olympics and Iranian athletes forfeiting so they don’t have to compete against an Israeli.

We’re not just writing to appeal to the past. We’re writing this because we know you agree that our part in movements for justice and equality shouldn’t just be a memory that gathers dust. We can play an important role in challenging injustice today. We urge you to act in the spirit of progressive New Zealanders who came before you and continue their legacy. In 2017, Lorde, reignite the spirit of 1981 and show the world that New Zealanders are the progressive forward-thinking people we say we are. Please join the artistic boycott of Israel, cancel your Israeli tour dates and make a stand. Your voice will join many others and together we can and will make a difference.

Speaking of 1981 and the Nobel Peace Prize, that year it was won by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Palestinians are so specialized that they have their own refugee body – UNRWA

UNHCR tries to eliminate the number of refugees and has a specific mandate to do so be it by local integration in current country, resettlement in a third country or repatriation when possible while the UNRWA tries to increase the number of Palestinian refugees. 750,000 in 1950 is over 5 million today.

Under Ottoman rule for hundreds of years, no one really cared about the land of Palestine, but then in the 20th century it was changing hands like a game of pass the  parcel. When the music stopped in 1948 it was a literal hodgepodge of ethnicities for the whole of the Middle East was completely different to what it was before World War One. Most of the countries and all of their borders we know today are 20th century inventions.

Fast forward another 19 years and there’s even more confusion and uncertainty about who a Palestinian is. Once the dust on the 6 Day War settles there is no more confusion for the Palestinians are no longer Jordan, Egypt or any other Arab country’s problem to deal with but Israels.

And it’s been like this ever since.

Palestinians and their supporters want to have the occupation both ways for it not only allows them to refuse to negotiate, but also provides a great tool for prolonging the conflict and international welfare.

As for Lorde she is just a kid. Remember not everything is what is seems.

Jumble around the letters of Melodrama World Tour and you’re left with A Matured Doll Morrow.

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