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Lauryn Hill cancels Israel show after failing to secure gig in Palestine

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Noam Galai/Getty Images

Lauryn Hill has cancelled a gig in Israel after failing to book an additional concert in Palestine. The soul singer wanted to complement her scheduled performance in Tel Aviv with one in the Palestinian city of Ramallah. The May 7 concert was set to take place in Rishon Lezion, just a few miles south of Tel Aviv, at Israel’s largest open-air venue.

 “Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge,” Hill wrote on her website Monday, adding that she had planned to play both cities from the start. “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.”

Divestment advocates had previously called on Hill to cancel the concert, and though the singer did not address these tensions, some applauded the cancellation.

Travel delays forced Hill to cancel a May 1 performance in Lagos, Nigeria—but the singer released a song in apology. She played six U.S. shows back in February.

Read Hill’s full statement concerning the Israel concert below.

Dear Friends and Fans in Israel,

When deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge. I’ve wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace. 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. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the upcoming performance in Israel, and seek a different strategy to bring my music to ALL of my fans in the region. May healing, equanimity, and the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation come to this region and its people.

Respectfully,

Ms. Lauryn Hill

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