Musician Shlohmo Cancels Israel Performance Over ‘Human Rights Atrocities’

Electronic artist joins Lana Del Rey in bowing out of festival, citing desire to support the oppressed

American electronic musician Henry Laufer, known by his stage name Shlohmo, has canceled his planned appearance at an Israeli music festival, he announced on Twitter Saturday.

Also Saturday, singer Lana Del Rey said she was postponing her show in Israel because she could not schedule a show for Palestinian fans.

Laufer apologized to fans and festival staff in his announcement, saying that “supporting the oppressed thru [sic] my absence is more important to me especially after the government’s recent human rights atrocities.

“I had said no to playing there for years and the only reason I could find to say yes was if I were to donate my fee to Gaza relief,” Laufer wrote. “But after much dialogue I found it to be a more important statement to say no all together [sic] than to donate. I hope you can understand this decision.”

While Laufer said he was aware that “there is a huge population of Israelis who protest the state policies + support Palestinians,” he found that “the more I dwell on the issue the more I can’t justify going. I urge others to research the issue.”

The musician was set to perform at the Meteor Festival in the northern Galilee on September 7.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement frequently lobbies musicians to cancel planned concerts in Israel, sometimes successfully – although it is not always clear whether the cancellations are truly the result of such pressure.

Singer Lorde canceled a planned show in Israel in December, saying that she “didn’t make the right call” when deciding to perform. In 2010, Elvis Costello canceled two shows in Israel, saying it was “impossible to look the other way” about Israeli policies. The same year, Gil Scott-Heron said he would not play in Israel “until everyone is welcome there.”