Many artists have faced controversy for choosing to play in either Israel or Palestine due to the ongoing BDS movement, however, popstar Madonna has rejected calls to cancel her upcoming gig in Israel and is set to move forward with the show this weekend.
The show is scheduled to take place on May 18 at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv in support of the promotion of her forthcoming album Madame X. This week, the popstar released a statement to Reuters on the matter, noting that she will “never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be.”
“My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict,” she continued. “I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace.”
In an attempt to protest Israel’s policies toward Palestine, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has convinced musicians like Lana Del Rey and Lorde to cancel their shows in the area. Yet, other artists like Radiohead, Nick Cave, and now Madonna, have decided to keep performing. Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, who is an active BDS supporter, explained in an op-ed for The Guardian that performing in the area raises a “fundamentally important ethical and political questions for each and every one of us to contemplate.”
“Some of my fellow musicians who have recently performed in Israel say they are doing it to build bridges and further the cause of peace,” he wrote. “Bullshit. To perform in Israel is a lucrative gig but to do so serves to normalise the occupation, the apartheid, the ethnic cleansing, the incarceration of children, the slaughter of unarmed protesters… all that bad stuff.”
Madonna recently announced Madame X, along with a round of intimate performances across the U.S. supporting the new music.