‘Music should unite not divide’

That sounds similar to arguments about maintaining sporting relations under apartheid in South Africa, but it is also an argument with some merit.

RNZ:  ‘Music should unite not divide’

Lorde was set to play in Tel Aviv on 5 June as part of her Melodrama tour but was last week urged not to perform.

Late last week the New Zealand Palestinian Human Rights Campaign said Lorde’s concert would be seen as an endorsement of the Israel government and its treatment of Palestinians.

Spokesperson Janfrie Wakim said the show would be in breach of a cultural boycott supported by 170 Palestinian groups.

In a Facebook post Itzhak Gerberg has invited the singer to a “friendly meeting” to talk it over.

Mr Gerberg says by succumbing to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, Lorde is encouraging animosity in the region.

“Music should unite not divide,” the post read.

“Reactions driven by hatred lead to continued #conflict. But solutions come from engagement and lead to compromise, co-operation, and #peace.”

A fair argument.

The US-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which campaigns against antisemitism, said the fact Lorde still plans to tour Russia illustrates the hypocrisy of the international community towards the region’s only democracy.

Also a fair point – it would be possible to find someone who could justify a boycott of performances in many different countries.

Yesterday Israel’s culture minister Miri Regev said she should be a “pure heroine” of culture, void of any foreign political considerations.

Lorde is refunding fans who had bought tickets and said she didn’t make the right call in agreeing to the show.

I don’t know how many views she listened to before coming to that conclusion. Perhaps mostly her business manager.

It has certainly raised Lorde’s profile.

Musical performances have arguably helped change history.For example:

Rocking the Wall — The Berlin Concert that Changed the World

As incredible as it may sound in 2014, there is considerable evidence that Springsteen unwittingly helped bring the Berlin Wall down with the biggest, most riveting earth-shaking concert in the history of East Germany.

It all happened 16 months before the Wall fell in July 1988, and the biggest crowd Springsteen ever played before watched him perform in the East Berlin district of Weissensee on a giant meadow. Springsteen worked his magic there in front of a crowd of 300,000 people — only half of whom had tickets. The other half simply stormed the gates and got away with it.

Not only did Springsteen have ecstatic East Germans screaming their lungs out while singing “Born in the USA,” he also opened his four-hour long concert defiantly with “Badlands,” a song that East Germans might have felt referred to their country, and he later played “Chimes of Freedom” right after delivering a courageous short speech calling for the wall to be torn down. For East Germans locked up behind the Berlin Wall it was an unforgettable address and an incredibly liberating moment — an American rock star telling 300,000 people that he came to play for them in the hope that “one day the barriers will be torn down.”

And 16 months later, the Berlin Wall was gone.

Could Lorde help precipitate historic change in Jerusalem and in the Middle East?




  1. Not sure South Africa is as good as made out to be given the high number of murders of white farmers.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  December 27, 2017

      I’m sure that there are a lot issues in South Africa but the West no longer has the ball and chain of apartheid around it’s ankle.

  2. Gezza

     /  December 27, 2017

    Not sure why so many people think Bruce Springstein’s Born in the USA is an anthem praising the place.

    Born down in a dead man’s town
    The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
    End up like a dog that’s been beat too much
    Till you spend half your life just covering up

    Born in the U.S.A., I was born in the U.S.A.
    I was born in the U.S.A., born in the U.S.A.

    Got in a little hometown jam
    So they put a rifle in my hand
    Sent me off to a foreign land
    To go and kill the yellow man
    Born in the U.S.A., I was born in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A., born in the U.S.A.

    Come back home to the refinery
    Hiring man said “son if it was up to me”
    Went down to see my V.A. man
    He said “son, don’t you understand”

    I had a brother at Khe Sahn
    Fighting off the Viet Cong
    They’re still there, he’s all gone
    He had a woman he loved in Saigon
    I got a picture of him in her arms now

    Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
    Out by the gas fires of the refinery
    I’m ten years burning down the road
    Nowhere to run ain’t got nowhere to go

    Born in the U.S.A., I was born in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A., I’m a long gone daddy in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A., born in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A., I’m a cool rocking daddy in the U.S.A.

    • David

       /  December 27, 2017

      “Not sure why so many people think Bruce Springstein’s Born in the USA is an anthem praising the place.”

      Because people are free to interpret things their own way. People can relate to hardship and still have optimism and some of them don’t give a fuck about what Bruce meant by it.

      • Corky

         /  December 27, 2017

        Bruce is always free to fugg off to Africa if he wants. However, I think the American dream will see him domiciled in the US. He’s been so lucky. Hell, he’s even free to diss the president. Do that in the Congo, and he’d wind up in the Congo River as Piranha bait.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  December 27, 2017

          If anyone sees that as a song praising the US, I’d hate to think what it’s like where they live,

          Lorde make a difference in the Middle East ? Dream on.

      • duperez

         /  December 27, 2017

        People are free to interpret things their own way. As they are doing with Lorde.
        Some of them don’t give a fuck about what Lorde means by her actions. Some do.
        Some interpret things their own way then get all emotional and judgemental.

  3. Blazer

     /  December 27, 2017

  4. PartisanZ

     /  December 27, 2017

    Music feeds the heart, while deluding the mind, and betraying reality …
    Yet it has touched my soul …

    Music shouldn’t SHOULD anything!

  5. Gezza

     /  December 27, 2017

    Could Lorde help precipitate historic change in Jerusalem and in the Middle East?

    Nope. Jesus turning up for the Second Coming could, though. It’s supposed to be an amazing show.

  6. robertguyton

     /  December 27, 2017

    Why does everyone think music “should unite”?
    Says who?
    Why should music “unite”???
    And which music? Should all music unite? Why???

    • Gezza

       /  December 27, 2017
    • Thing is that music does unite. It transcends politics, race and bigotry. There are so many historical examples of this it really doesn’t even bear citing them.

      • PartisanZ

         /  December 28, 2017

        And people can change … or change their image …

  7. robertguyton

     /  December 27, 2017

    “Sure, Israel is a democracy of sorts for Jewish Israelis. There are anomolies, such religious intermarriage being outlawed. This does contravene the notion of basic freedoms and resembles the old segregation seen in the Southern States of the US and the former apartheid regime in South Africa. There are also no civil divorce rights in Israel only religious bodies can rule on divorce, and there are numerous other democratic shortcomings, but for Jews many of the features of a democracy do exist. For the 1.4 million Palestinian and other Arab populations in Israel the democracy is very second rate. They face discrimination that is among the worse by Western standards. But all the limitations of democratic rights in Israel pale in comparison to the brutal military occupation carried out by the Israeli state for the past 50 years over the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.”

  8. patupaiarehe

     /  December 27, 2017