Florida lawmaker wants to force Lorde to cancel her shows because of her stance on the BDS movement

The movement calls for boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning Israel due to its treatment of Palestine.

Lorde CREDIT: Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images for ARIA
Lorde CREDIT: Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images for ARIA

Lawmakers in Florida want Lorde’s concerts in the state canceled because of the singer’s involvement with the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement.

Lorde canceled an upcoming concert in Tel Aviv after BDS activists — who call for boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning Israel because of the country’s occupation of Palestinian land and treatment of the Palestinian people — wrote the singer an open letter calling for her to cancel the show.

Lorde thanked the activists on Twitter for “educating” her and later canceled the show. (And now, as ThinkProgress’ D. Parvaz reported last week, an Israeli group, using an untested law, is trying to sue the two New Zealanders who wrote the letter.)

The BDS movement was recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, but State Rep. Randy Fine (R) wants Lorde’s Florida shows canceled, too, citing a Florida law that says no state or local government can conduct business exceeding $1 million with any organization engaged in a boycott of Israel.


“Florida has no tolerance for anti-Semitism and boycotts intended to destroy the State of Israel,” Fine said in a statement Thursday. “Current statutes are clear — local governments cannot do business with companies that participate in anti-Semitic boycotts of Israel. When Lorde joined the boycott in December, she and her companies became subject to that statute.”

Florida is one of 20 states with anti-BDS legislation on the books, and Fine is aiming to strengthen that legislation, too. If he succeeds in passing the new law, which has the support of Florida House of Representatives Speaker Richard Corcoran, Florida would essentially outlaw any entity that receives state funding to contract with a company that boycotts Israel.

And, notably, it would mean Lorde would have to reschedule her upcoming Florida shows, as the arenas where the concerts are scheduled to be held both receive state funding.

According to local media, Fine also sent letters to the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority and the Tampa Sports Authority Thursday demanding they cancel Lorde’s shows, which are scheduled for April 11 and 12.

Lorde is far from the only artist to cancel shows in Israel. She joins Lauryn Hill, Elvis Costello, The Pixies, and a number of others.