Lana Del Rey has announced that she won’t be playing in Israel next week, after all.
In a statement shared on Twitter on Friday, Del Rey explained she would not perform at the Meteor Festival near Tel Aviv on September 7 since she has been unable to plan a show in Palestine around the same time.
Del Rey wrote, “It’s important to me to perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all my fans equally. Unfortunately it hasn’t been possible to line up both visits with such short notice and therefore I’m postponing my appearance at the Meteor Festival until a time when I can schedule visits for both my Israeli and Palestinian fans, as well as hopefully other countries in the region.”
Del Rey faced a storm of online backlash after first announcing she would perform in Israel. Fans and activists called on her to cancel or postpone the performance in protest of the country’s policies against Palestinians, which are part of the larger on-and-off conflict between the two states that’s been raging for decades.
Many argued that Del Rey calling off her show would have precedent: the BBC reports she previously canceled an Israel show in 2014 in response to the conflict between Israeli and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
She tweeted out a statement last month defending her then-scheduled performance, saying, "What I can tell you is I believe music is universal and should be used to bring us together."
"We don't always agree with the politics of the places we play within or even in our own country," she continued. “Though I have deep sentiments over what is true and not true, right or wrong- I would like to remind you that performing in Tel Aviv is not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there...For the record I'm doing the best I can and my intentions are better than most."
A day later, she expanded on her intentions, writing on Instagram that her “views on democracy and oppression are aligned with most liberal views.”
She also expressed her intent to show support for Palestine, writing, “I will be visiting Palestine too and I look forward to meeting both Palestinian and Israeli children and playing music for everyone. I want peace for both Israel and Palestine.”
After Del Rey announced she would not take the stage at the Meteor Festival, festival organizers posted a response on their site.
“Just got the word that Lana will be a no-show at Meteor,” the statement read. “With that, Meteor will take place with the same badass mix of local and international talent that we’ve been working with this past year. The mission that we’ve all been on together is reaching the finish line in just a matter of days as planned: a pioneering, independent festival in the Upper Galilee of a magnitude and quality that has yet to be seen in the Middle East.”