Last December, the holiday spirit was in full swing and the temperature grew colder by the day— just like the feet of famed Kiwi pop star, Lorde, regarding her June Tel-Aviv concert. Lorde decided on Christmas Eve to cancel her Israel trip due to increased pressure by the anti-Israel “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” group, which accused the Israeli government of “human rights violations and genocide. ”Unsurprisingly, this pressure mounted soon after the Trump administration’s decision to move America’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The reaction to Lorde’s cancellation was rather mild at first and a single tweet issued by Roseanne Barr called for a boycott of Lorde’s future shows just a few hours after the news broke. In the following days, mainstream outlets such as The View, CNN, and the Washington Post reported on the pop singer’s decision. Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand, Lorde’s home country, penned an open letter of disappointment and urged her to rethink her position. Lorde has since announced that her concerts in Russia will continue as planned, provoking calls of hypocrisy due to the human rights violations of the Putin regime.
The non-reactionary right’s general indifference to Lorde’s decision-making is quite typical. Most people, at least on the scholarly right, understand that the pop star is engaging in the free market appropriately. Lorde performs for millions of adoring fans and is compensated with ridiculous amounts of money in return. Whenever she abstains from performing a particular service, such as her scheduled concerts in Israel, the market “punishes” her by awarding her no income. Indeed, Lorde had to refund all tickets purchased for her Tel Aviv show.
This distinction is important, not just in cases involving Israel, but for religious liberty disputes in America. The left has attacked organizations that hold Judeo-Christian beliefs about marriage, for refusing to provide their services for the weddings of LGBT couples. Due to leftist pressure, an Iowan chapel was shut down for refusing to host same-sex weddings, and the owners of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado and another bakery in Oregon were both punished by the long arm of the state for not providing same-sex wedding cakes.
Fundamentally, Lorde’s actions are quite similar to the actions of these businesses, aside for the rationale for refusing service. Lorde refused to perform a service for the Jewish people because of her disagreement with Israel’s policies. When Lorde made this decision, there were no protests, no vehement social media posts, no hashtag campaigns, no strongly-worded petitions, and nobody of much importance calling Lorde a bigot or anti-Semitic. The difference in reaction demonstrates that the left cares very little for Israel and has an insatiable need for control. In fact, the left is responsible for most anti-Israel sentiment. Yet on the subject of religious liberty, the left is the only group demanding outright control over what private individuals and businesses do.
Countless articles and opinion pieces regarding the left’s betrayal of Israel have been published. To provide just one example, Palestinian flags flew higher than Old Glory at the infamous 2016 Women’s March. The same Palestinian flag flew over elementary schools in Gaza, from which terrorists fired rockets at Israeli citizens, trusting that Israel would have greater respect for the lives of the students there than the Palestinians did. The same Palestinian flag is flown proudly by parents teaching their preteen children how to “stab a Jew.” The left has fully embraced the Palestinian “liberation” movement and, with it, completely forsaken Israel.
Most leftist policy, meanwhile, demonstrates a desire to control the actions and thoughts of the American people. The roots of modern leftist thought stem from Marxism, which has, as its central tenet, the belief that a big government that exerts more control over the individual will lead to a better society. As Bernie Sanders’s popularity demonstrates, the American left is quite fond of this position. The young college-campus-entrenched left calls for the policing of speech and the banishment of those who use improper gender pronouns. They even call the mere act of misgendering someone an “act of violence.” The left reacts just as viciously when a small-town shop owner refused to provide his services for a ceremony due to his conscientious beliefs.
Lorde’s decision to cancel her Israel show seems inconsequential in the midst of 2017’s insane news cycle.
The market will work as it should. Lorde will miss out on the revenue from her show, the only punishment she deserves. Likewise the left should allow the shop owners and chapel operators they are currently persecuting to suffer the consequences of the free market, and leave consumers to choose where they spend their money.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.