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Lana Del Rey Slammed For Insisting on Playing Israel, Promises To Meet Palestinian Children During Visit

American singer Lana Del Rey has defended her decision to play in Israel next month, maintaining that the gig is not a political statement and promising to meet Palestinian children during her trip.

Del Rey has been facing backlash online for failing to cancel her appearance at the Meteor festival in Lehavot Habashan in the north of the country, the BBC said. But the 33-years-old has maintained that her involvement does not represent support for the Israeli government.

On Sunday, the singer said her decision to perform is “not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there just as singing here in California doesn’t mean my views are in alignment w my current governments opinions.”

She took to Instagram on Tuesday to assure fans that while she will resist pressure to withdraw, explaining, “My views on democracy and oppression are aligned with most liberal views.” She added, “I understand the concern towards showing support to the Palestinians too. So I just wanted to let you know when I’m in Israel 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.”

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters—a vocal supporter of the pro-Palestinian Boycott Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement—has been among those criticizing Del Rey’s decision to play. On Tuesday, he posted a statement on Facebook offering to “help clear a couple of things up.”

Waters claimed that playing in Israel despite the BDS movement “is a political act in support of the apartheid state that would deny them those basic human rights. Even if in your heart of hearts you believe yourself to be neutral.” The musician quoted cleric and activist Desmond Tutu, who said of the South African apartheid, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

In her Tuesday posts, Del Rey told Waters, “I read your statement about taking action even when you believe in neutrality. I totally understand what you’re saying and this is my action.”

In 2014, Del Rey cancelled a planned gig in Israel due to safety concerns. The decision was made after fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The conflict, known as Operation Protective Edge in Israel, eventually lasted for around six weeks and left more than 2,000 people dead.

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