Lauryn Hill has never been afraid to voice her opinions on political and social matters. After pressure from activists on social media, Hill made the decision to cancel her upcoming performance in Israel. Activists also circulated a video that used the 1996 Fugees hit “Killing Me Softly” as the background music to images of violence and oppression in the region. Hill also cited her own inability to schedule a concert in Palestine around the same time, as a reason for the cancellation. She released a statement about the decision on her website.
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.
Hill, whose iconic 1998 solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was recently inducted into the national recording registry of important works by the Library of Congress, joins a long list of American musicians and celebrities in boycotting Israel. In the past Gil Scott-Heron, Annie Lennox, Danny Glover, Carlos Santana, and Alice Walker, among many others, have cancelled performances or called for boycotts in country.