Lauryn Hill Cancels Israel Performance

By Qimmah Saafir May 05, 2015

Lauryn Hill’s plans to perform in Israel and Palestine this week have proven difficult. Hill has canceled her appearance in Tel Aviv due to her inability to also schedule a concert in Ramallah located in Palestine’s West Bank. 

In a statement on May 4, the singer-songwriter stated her intentions to bring a “presence supporting justice and peace,” to both cities. Via her website, Hill conveyed, “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.”

Prior to her decision, the Palestinian BDS National Committee urged Hill to reconsider performing in Israel by creating their own version of “Killing Me Softly” — a song Hill covered on The Fugees’ 1996 album “The Score” — addressing Israel’s actions. 

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel also wrote a letter to Hill, stating, “performing in Israel today is the equivalent of performing in Sun City, South Africa during the apartheid era… As a woman of color and a conscientious artist, we urge you not to lend your name to cover up Israel’s crimes.”

Hill says she will find another way to bring her music to fans in the region and ended her statement with hopes for “healing, equanimity, and the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation” in the region.