Lauryn Hill Sides with Discord and Makes Anti-Israel Video

At a time when the region is on fire, an incendiary video seeks to stoke the flames.

#LaurynHill # video #wheniseethemiseeus #IsraelAppearing in the recently released video “When I See Them I See Us,” Ms. Lauryn Hill sides with discord. The Black Palestinian Solidarity produced clip is replete with false comparisons between the Israeli-Palestinian dynamic and simmering tensions between black Americans and the police force in the United States. Known Israel detractors Angela Davis, Dr. Cornel West, Alice Walker, Danny Glover and Omar Barghouti also participated in the video awash with inflammatory rhetoric such as, “They burned me alive in Jerusalem.”

Misappropriating an artist’s song to create an emotionally manipulative video is a common tactic of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. An artist voluntarily appearing in the same is a blow against hope of reconciliation.

Earlier this year, Ms.Hill abruptly canceled her scheduled performance for Israeli fans following intense pressure by the BDS campaign. Just days after her Tel Aviv concert was announced, the singer’s social media pages were flooded with anti-Israel posts urging her to cancel. Fallacious charges ranged from the political to the ridiculous (that Israel abducted 25,000 Ukrainian children to harvest their organs) to the blatantly anti-Semitic (a bloody graphic of Netanyahu cannibalizing a child).

Boycott proponents claimed that performing in Israel meant she was giving a “stamp of approval” to false claims of colonialism, apartheid, oppression and ethnic cleansing. They singled her out as a minority artist, inferring that if she didn’t support the boycott, she would be betraying her community.

These are classic BDS tactics of intimidation.

When an artist falls prey to BDS tactics and cancels a performance because of career concerns or fear for his or her safety, boycott proponents celebrate a victory. When artists subsequently endorse the boycott or denounce Israel, as Thurston Moore did earlier this year and Lauryn Hill did this week, they mischaracterize it as a trend.

The songstress gave up an opportunity to learn the truth for herself when she canceled her performance in Israel. She gave up her power to be a bridge for peace when she participated in the video.

Ms. Hill explained the cancellation on Facebook by saying that she intended to perform in both Israel and the West Bank, but since that wasn’t possible, she didn’t want her “presence or message [to] be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans.”

Her Facebook post ended with the following wish, “May healing, equanimity, and the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation come to this region and its people.”

Ms. Hill, you should have left it at that.

‪#‎notoBDS ‪#‎yestoPeace ‪#‎LaurynHill ‪#‎Israel ‪#‎Freedom #WhenISeeThemISeeUs #LiberateArt

About the Author
Lana Melman, the CEO of Liberate Art Inc., is a leader in combating cultural boycotts (BDS) against Israel and a Hollywood liaison connecting Israel to the international creative community. Through her speaking engagements and radio and TV interviews, Lana reaches diverse audiences and engages in open discussion about what is taking place, what is at stake, and what we can all do in today’s high-conflict world to fight the cultural boycott campaign against Israel. As an attorney and 20-year veteran of the entertainment industry, Lana served in both business and creative capacities at CBS, Warner Bros., and Paramount, and wrote and produced both television and feature films. In addition, Lana was the premier director of Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), an entertainment-based nonprofit organization. Most recently, Lana produced the first celebrity anti-BDS panel with artists from film, television and music and served as the Hollywood liaison behind Variety’s “Spotlight on Israel TV” bringing due recognition to Israel’s unique television industry. Lana has two sons and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Jeff Melman, a Directors Guild of America and Emmy Award-nominated director and producer.