Lauryn Hill Cancels Israel Concert Following Pressure From Activists

Lauryn Hill (seated) with her daughter Sarah Marley and backup singers 
YouTube screenshot
Lauryn Hill (seated) with her daughter Sarah Marley and backup singers 
YouTube screenshot

Lauryn Hill has canceled her show in Israel amid boycott pressures. She said that setting up the performance was a “challenge.”


Hill, whose Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was recently added to the Library of Congress, was scheduled to perform near Tel Aviv on May 7, but in a Facebook post, the singer offered an explanation of sorts as to why the performance was canceled:

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.


Ms. Lauryn Hill

According to The Guardian, Hill’s concert was met with opposition from activists who created a social media campaign urging her to cancel the show. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement had urged Hill to boycott Israel for the past month. Last week the activists posted a video of Hill performing “Killing Me Softly,” but edited it to show Israel Defense Forces soldiers in territories and compared Israel to an apartheid state.

The Israel show is just the latest of Hill’s to be canceled. Last week she also canceled a show in Lagos, Nigeria, after citing travel issues related to the promoter of the show. In a video apology, Hill, her daughter Sarah Marley, and her backup singers performed “Doo Wop” as part of their apology to concertgoers in Lagos.