New Zealand singer Lorde says the right decision "at this time is to cancel the show" after facing pressure from supporters of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Lorde's concert was due to be held on June 5 in Tel Aviv as part of her 2018 world tour.
Lorde's concert was due to be held on June 5 in Tel Aviv as part of her 2018 world tour. (AP)

New Zealand singer Lorde has cancelled a planned show in Israel after facing pressure from supporters of a boycott of the Jewish state over its occupation of Palestinian territory.

After criticism from international and New Zealand activists, the 21-year-old announced on Sunday that she was cancelling the performance in Israel.

"I've received an overwhelming number of messages & letters and have had a lot of discussions with people holding many views, and I think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show," Lorde wrote in a statement distributed by Naranjah, the Israeli promoters of her Tel Aviv show.

"I'm not too proud to admit I didn't make the right call on this one," she said of the initial decision to perform in Israel. "I'm truly sorry to reverse my commitment to come play for you. I hope one day we can all dance."

Pressurised to rethink by BDS

The movement behind the pressure on Lorde is known as BDS — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — and says it is inspired by the campaign that targeted South Africa's apartheid regime and is seeking an end to Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

In July, BDS activists failed to get Radiohead to call off its show in Tel Aviv despite heavy pressure from artists such as Pink Floyd's Roger Waters and director Ken Loach.

Israel sees BDS as a strategic threat and accuses it of anti-Semitism — a claim activists firmly deny, calling it an attempt to discredit them.

Tensions in occupied territories

A few politically active musicians have called off shows in Israel over the past years, including Lauryn Hill and Elvis Costello.

Tensions in the region are high since December 6 when US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as Israel's capital, drawing condemnation from across the Arab and Muslim world and sparking angry protests across the Palestinian territories.

Since then, at least 12 Palestinians have been martyred - and thousands more injured - in clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and blockaded Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies