Leading artists stand with Lorde

More than 100 artists including leading lights in film, theatre, literature, and music  have come together to sign a statement of support for the singer, songwriter and record producer Lorde. While signatories to the letter, which is published on the Guardian’s letter page, may hold a range of positions on BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), they are united in their defence of the right to freedom of conscience. We are happy to publish the letter and the FULL list of signatories, below.
[Photo: Perou for the Guardian]

Letter in support of Lorde

We write in support of Lorde, who made public her decision not to perform in Israel and has now been branded a “bigot” in a full page advertisement in the Washington Post (Guardian, 1 January 2018).

Shmuley Boteach, the author and promoter of the advert, supports Israel’s illegal settlements and wrote last month on Breitbart to thank Donald Trump for “electrifying the world” with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in defiance of international law. He has nothing to teach artists about human rights. 

We deplore the bullying tactics being used to defend injustice against Palestinians and to suppress an artist’s freedom of conscience. We support Lorde’s right to take a stand.

Signed by:

Khalid Abdalla actor
Tunde Adebimpe musician
Rachel Aggs musician
Yasmine Al Massri actor
Kevin Allen screenwriter, director
Amir Amirani filmmaker
Adjoa Andoh actor
Frankie Armstrong singer
Conrad Atkinson artist, emeritus professor
Sarah Beddington artist
Yves Berger painter
Caroline Bergvall writer, artist
Nicholas Blincoe writer
Leah Borromeo filmmaker
Jonathan Burrows choreographer
David Calder actor
Julie Christie actor
Ian Christie film historian, broadcaster
Chipo Chung actor
Caryl Churchill playwright
Dominic Cooke director
Kia Corthron playwright, novelist
Joseph Coward writer, artist
Molly Crabapple artist, writer
John Cusack
actor, writer, producer, board member Freedom of the Press Foundation
Selma Dabbagh writer
Cherien Dabis film and TV director
William Dalrymple writer
Angela Davis writer
Dror Dayan filmmaker
Robert del Naja musician
Laurence Dreyfus director, Phantasm viol consort
Carol Drinkwater filmmaker
David Edgar playwright
Nancy Elan violinist
Brian Eno musician
Eve Ensler playwright, performer
Samir Eskanda musician
Jodie Evans writer, producer
Shepard Fairey artist
Michelle Fairley actor
Saeed T. Farouky filmmaker
Fat White Family band
Yasmin Fedda filmmaker
Bella Freud designer
Peter Gabriel musician
Lisa Gerrard composer
Tom Gilroy film director
David Gray musician
Kathleen Hanna musician, artist
John Keane artist
Reem Kelani singer, musicologist
Peter Kennard artist
AL Kennedy writer
Jonathan Kent theatre and opera director
Hari Kunzru writer
Talib Kweli musician
David Lan artistic director, Young Vic
Paul Laverty scriptwriter
Tom Leonard poet
Ken Loach film director
Miriam Margolyes actor
Kika Markham actor
Yann Martel writer
Emel Mathlouthi musician
Pauline Melville writer
Tom Morello musician
Jenny Morgan filmmaker
David Morrisey actor, director
Viggo Mortensen Jr actor, writer, musician, artist
Peter Mullan actor, director
Rebecca O’Brien film producer
Andrew O’Hagan writer
Eugene O’Hare actor, writer
Maxine Peake actor
Miranda Pennell filmmaker
Brendan Perry musician
Nancy Platt filmmaker
Jocelyn Pook composer
Dave Randall musician
Mark Ruffalo actor
Alexei Sayle comedian, writer
James Schamus producer, writer, director
David Scott music producer, sound engineer
Nabil Shaban actor, writer
Wallace Shawn actor, playwright
Farhana Sheikh writer
Gillian Slovo writer
Cherry Smith poet
John Smith artist
Chris Somes-Charlton artist management
Ahdaf Soueif writer
Juliet Stevenson actor
Jennie Stoller actor
Samuel Toms musician
Alice Walker writer
Naomi Wallace playwright, screenwriter
Roger Waters musician
Hilary Westlake theatre director
Susan Wooldridge actor, writer
Nicholas Wright playwright, director
Emily Young artist
Benjamin Zephaniah poet, musician


Published in the Guardian here

30 thoughts on “Leading artists stand with Lorde

    • Angry Artist says:

      …another useful idiot to add to the list.

      Do these morons – Waters, Walker and a few others ARE morons – realize that the people they are supporting are amongst the most regressive on earth? Do the west bank arabs support the rights of gays, women, minorities, free speech, etc? As an artist I am disgusted by the abject stupidity of the signatories of this sham, a despicable boycott of jews closely resembling the germans in 1938 of jewish-owned businesses.

      When the arab muslims show a tolerance for the sovereign rights of minorities and non-muslims in the mideast, then talk to me about Israel…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zoé says:

        “a despicable boycott of Jews closely resembling the germans in 1938 of jewish-owned businesses.”

        Firstly re. “the germans”; not all “germans” were Nazis or Nazi sympathisers. And Jews & Roma/Sinti etc. were also “germans”.

        My grandmother risked her life in Berlin to walk past the Nazi warning signs & cross the doorsteps of Jewish shops she frequented in Berlin. (She was a very loyal person – above the dictates of any psychotic regime). Her sister was murdered by the Nazis & her other sister missing & brother in law possibly murdered by the SS.

        My mother came to the States as a Displaced Person via the Red Cross & brought my grandparents – also DPs. She married my father – a Lebanese w/ family from Marjeyoun in the South of Lebanon. If this place Marjeyoun sounds familiar it is because it was occupied by the State of Israel for decades & since then has been the target of *nightmarish* bombing attacks from the State of Israel.

        My grandmother did not risk her life crossing those shop doorways of Jewish proprietors & survive the Nazis so that she could have a granddaughter whose cousins (Palestinians & Lebanese) would be robbed of their civil & human rights; often in a *mirror* image of what the Nazis did.

        A better comparison to BDS would be Jewish Americans having boycotted German goods during the Nazi era. Because the belief behind BDS is to apply human rights equally to everyone including Jews/Israelis as well. It is therefore the antithesis of the Nazis *forced* boycott (legally enforced via dictatorial terror).

        For years people asked why the Palestinians did not engage in peaceful protests such as boycotts like Gandhi & MLK; then when BDS really took flight they/we have been criticised. It is a peaceful rights movement seeking equality for everyone including Jews. It is not at all comparable to the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Joe Quinlan says:

    The artists who signed the letter defending Lorde should be commended for taking a public stand against the apartheid occupation of Palestine.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Zoé says:

    The charge of antisemitism is rarely accompanied by a breakdown of the issues actually impacting Palestinians & Israelis. Perhaps more & more people are noticing that.

    Meanwhile most Palestinian spokespeople & scholars & writers sound like they sleep on a thesaurus for a pillow compared to the people crying out ‘antisemitism’ & ‘antisemites’.

    Anyone who describes himself as the Rabbi of America must be delusional anyway. Did he take a poll? Or at the very least a narcissist.

    I seem to recall this rabbi having been friends w/ Michael Jackson & when he found out MJ was sleeping with (sharing a bed with) children – simply told him it was unwise. If I am wrong I stand corrected but that is my recollection. Vs. having been – for one example – completely horrified. So if I am remembering correctly this person seems to be someone who repeatedly sides w/ his friends vs. what many would term morality & the greater good. One can surmise that empathy does not play a big part in his judgement.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nick Bickel, musician says:

    Where’s Ringo Starr’s name ? Oh wait; he’s just announced – days after basking in worldwide acclaim over his knighthood – that he’s doing two concerts in Tel Aviv in late June. If he goes ahead, he will tarnish The Beatles’ name. Surely, he can’t have forgotten their principled stand over Jacksonville, 1964, where they said they wouldn’t play if the ‘apartheid’ authorities enforced planned segregation. Let’s hope his intention is to return the compliment for, in the 1960s, Israel snubbed them by cancelling a gig because they were deemed a bad influence on the young.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Alan Arnstein says:

    Bravo Lorde. I am the son of a Holocaust survivor. I grew up in South Africa during the apartheid era. I know what a militaristic, racist state looks like. Well done for avoiding it and supporting the oppressed Palestinians.

    Liked by 7 people

      • Alan Arnstein says:

        Actually I’ve been there three times. Like the sham that was South Africa’s “Westminster-style parliamentary democracy” under apartheid, so in Israel a “democratic” system has been facilitated by the ethnic cleansing of sufficient numbers of non-Jewish Palestinians in 1948.

        Idealistic friends of my father who went to fight in the “War of Independence” returned to South Africa deeply depressed after witnessing the violent eviction of Palestinian citizenry.

        Liked by 6 people

      • Zoé says:

        Perhaps your comment should read ‘where Arab women can even be shot to death in their cars’ or ‘pregnant Arab women can even lose their babies in their cars’ (re. Palestinians at Apartheid checkpoints) etc.

        You & others here w/ this ‘democracy’ fallacy avoid discussing Palestinians of the West Bank / illegal Israeli occupation / illegal Israeli settlements / right of return / breaches of international law / systematic abuses against Gazans / arrest of children / arrest of poets / legalised torture etc.

        And Saudi women can drive now – if that’s what you were referring to. As you know they can in Lebanon & Egypt &c. – hence your not shifting the gaze there. Arabia & the Levant are two different places. Hence please be accurate & use the word Palestinians.

        Liked by 7 people

  5. Alec says:

    Goodness me, furious agreement from entertainers and creatives, published in the Guardian. Good to see you’re taking the fight to the enemy.

    Rather than Lorde, I stand with the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.


    • Zoé says:

      Shouldn’t that read ‘the only *fake* democracy in the Middle East’. Please research the meaning of ‘democracy’ more thoroughly & apply that new knowledge to the fascist oppression & human rights violations that Palestinians are forced to endure from the Apartheid State of Israel.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Christian Dailly says:

    I presume she will be cancelling her US shows in protest at the US regime support for Israel and in protest at Trump’s position on Jerusalem.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gideon539 says:

    Nobody said it isnt ok to criticize Israel. Far from it. Claiming Israel is committing mass human atrocity is simply untrue. And it also fails to recognize the way Islamic Imperialism treats non-muslims. See Dhimmi Status of Infidels, Pact of Omar, Pact of Hudabiya, Jizya, and so much more. In the face of all that, Israel is treating the ‘Palestinians quite well. Its just barely shy of asking the Israelis to be as humane as possible with a defeated Nazi Germany. because if you look at the Nazi Nuremburg laws next to The Pact of Omar they look very similar. That said, you give enough 18-21 year olds machine guns, and tell the to protect their homeland against Islamic Fascists… there are bound to be a few Jews who do things they should not. But the balance of right, as well as humane treatment is by FAR on the side of Israel.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Eric says:

    Thank you for standing up for your unaltered view of the world. Don’t mind the hate from child arresters. Much love and respect.


  9. Theo Smyth says:

    “We support Lorde’s right to take a stand.”
    She said she had done lots of research on both sides of the argument and had decided to perform in Tel Aviv.
    I support Lorde’s right to come to her own conclusions, without being bullied by anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kesaveloo (Junior) Goonam says:

    I am ashamed of all of you. Your words, thoughts and actions devalue and diminish the work done by thousands of gallant individuals against a real Apartheid – SA. Your self congratulating platitudes only re-enforce your ignorance, social injustice and liberal elitism that allow such echo chambers to thrive and lose sight of real injustices in the world. You are the reason that the world is much like it is today.


  11. TD says:

    There are no Palestinians. They might be Jordanians but since Palestine is a made up country by the British (read some history, you uninformed and uneducated sheep) it has no basis in fact. Finally, Israel is being judged by a double standard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoé says:

      By extension you must believe that “there are no” Indigenous Americans either; since at one time America was not called ‘America’.

      Or Sami in Scandinavia… or Maori in New Zealand etc. etc. etc. Do you think Irish people were always called by that name? Or English English? …Germans German?Germany did not exist as the present consolidated nation of ‘Germany’ prior to 1870. Yet German people have existed since the stone age. The British Isles were not empty prior to the name ‘British’.

      And anyway the people in the area who were not Jewish – Filistina & others – were written of by Jewish people themselves in the Bible. When Muslim Arabs arrived c.700 it was not an empty place. Contrary to that other ‘Land without a people…’ trope/lie.

      Honestly these kind of racist statements are so tiresome. We have been hearing them for years & years. They are used to distract people from the abuses & human rights violations against Palestinians.

      Please try to get your head round that people have remained in places for tens of thousands of years before various geographical names were applied to their indigenous environment & thus to their population.

      Dna from living Palestinians & Lebanese have been tested against ancient dna (found in an ancient tooth… according to National Geographic) which of course proves how very long the people you say do not even *exist* have been there. (Along w/ indigenous Oriental Jews from the area. We were all there at once – as horrifying as that may feel to you).

      There is also the matter of conversion to Islam of people who were previously Christian and Jewish (inc. Christians originally descended from indigenous pagans & Jews). And some people in this thread seem to be completely unaware that there are still Christians in Palestine. (What do comments about “Muslims” have to do w/ anything? Especially when so many Palestinian Christians & Armenians & indigenous Oriental Jews & Africans there are unhappy w/ the occupation / apartheid conditions / abuses / murder from the State of Israel also).

      There is so much anti-Palestinian anti-Arab anti-Muslim vitriol directed at Palestinians in this thread it is really heartbreaking to me. Please consider how your racist hatred injures Palestinian & Arab children the world over; as they may read your words here. It is a constant onslaught that never lets up from the moment we arrive in the world.

      Liked by 2 people

    • lamargopetersen says:

      Nope, you’re wrong the Palestine before 1948 did exist, even though you have been thoroughly brainwashed does not make you right.


  12. john king says:

    I strongly SUPPORT Lorde in her decision to stand with Palestinian Rights and to NOT play in apartheid Israel. She and all signatories of this post, myself included, realize that any legitimization of these racist repressive and unjust policies must be opposed – the status quo cannot abide, will not be sustainable when seen from the perspective of human rights, international law and human dignity. we Support you Lorde, and will continue to do so in solidarity with these artists who have signed on – i am signing on as well – Free Palestine!

    Liked by 4 people

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