Lorde’s PR rabbi

January 3, 2018 by Jenni Frazer
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Until last month, if I had heard of the singer, Lorde, it was only at its most peripheral. I couldn’t — and still can’t — identify a single one of her songs, but then I am not the 21-year-old’s target audience…writes Jenni Frazer.

Lorde Photo: Facebook

But with one meaty paw, the self-styled “America’s rabbi”, Shmuley Boteach, has ensured that even those who are not Lorde’s natural fans have been made aware of her. He did this by taking out a full page advert in the December 31 issue of the New York Times, denouncing Lorde as “a bigot” for cancelling a previously arranged concert in Tel Aviv.

Lorde made her unfortunate decision after she was approached by two fellow New Zealanders who are supporters of the boycott movement — one of whom, inevitably, is Jewish.

She responded: “I 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. I’m not too proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one.”

It’s a shame, and her fans in Israel are understandably disappointed. But the way to deal with this, surely, is the way that the Israeli ambassador to New Zealand, Dr Itzhak Gerberg, has tried to do, by inviting Lorde to come and see him and talk things through.

Not, for heaven’s sake, by taking out a New York Times advert and bludgeoning her with self-righteous opinion. A strident Boteach wrote in the advert: “Let’s boycott the boycotters and tell Lorde and her fellow bigots that Jew-hatred has no place in the 21st century”.

Well, if he really wanted to drive Lorde into the arms of Roger Waters and friends, this is exactly the right way to go about it.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Because he used the “b” word, “bigot”. And that, I am sorry to say, is one of those press-the-red-button words that once used, is nigh impossible to take back.

Will it help Israel to call a popular young singer a bigot? Will it enhance Israel’s standing in the eyes of Lorde’s worldwide fans?

Or will it, as I suspect, push Lorde into taking sides over an issue she hadn’t shown much interest in, previously, and force her into a position that she can’t get out of? This was — even by the standards of the alt-right crowd with whom Boteach now likes to ally himself— a new low for dumbness and failure to think things through.

It is, indeed, perfectly true that Lorde is due to give a concert in Russia, where there are any number of human rights abuses. Will she give a statement about that, or cancel her concert there? Given the bucket of cat sick which greeted her Tel Aviv decision, I don’t suppose Lorde will be making a statement on anything, any time soon.

We must also question the appropriate use of funds — not Boteach’s, because he went begging for money to finance the advert — in order to make this global attack on Lorde. I can think of so many better ways to spend the thousands of dollars this must have cost.

If Israel’s ambassador, Dr Gerberg, has any sense, he will quietly invite Lorde to go to Israel as a private visitor, and see things for herself. And then, if she wants to, she can take out an advert in the New York Times — telling Rabbi Boteach exactly what she thinks. I’m happy to help her write it.


10 Responses to “Lorde’s PR rabbi”
  1. john nemesh says:

    I see Adrian Jackson often has added tiny quips to other correspondent opinions.

    Surely Mr Jackson can himself answer a question with a direct yes or no.Does he support the BDS campaign?

    No obfuscation…….just answer the question.

    A quip of yes or no please.

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      No i dont support BDS however some countries impose sanctions on other countries which I also oppose. Both BDS and sanctions will not change the policy of a government but may harm ordinary citizens.

      I once witness a BDS protest when shopping at Coles outside a cafe in Clarendon St, Sth Melbourne by 4 or 5 protestors but they were gone when I came back out of Coles.

      A few months later the chocolate cafe closed but this could have been due to competition from other long standing cafe businesses in the street.

      John do you support nation status for Palestine?

      • john nemesh says:

        I strongly believe both peoples have a right to self determination–and the need to move forward rather than always look back at real hurts.
        That means yes….as long as the palestinians will come to the table to negotiate!

        In Sydney newtown BDS demo against the highly successful max Brenner chocolate cafe —fullof socialist alternative fanatics and totalitarians shouting “from the river to the sea palestine will be free!”—-this means destroy Israel–no israel–just as Barghouti the founder of BDS himself has been quoted.

  2. BARRY MOND says:

    I have discovered, Jenni Frazer, that Jew hating, anti-Semitic racists and bigots, who are either outspoken supporters of BDS, or who decide to accept the arguments of BDS supporters as Lorde did, do not require anyone, let alone Shmully Boteach, to push them into the arms of despicable individuals like Roger Waters.

    Far bigger names than Lorde have successfully performed in Israel, having, unlike Lorde, totally disregarded pressure from BDS advocates.

    For Lorde to have cancelled based on “pressure” from two BDS advocates, the fact that one was Jewish is irrelevant, says all that is needed to be said about her and her attitude to Israel, the JEWISH State.

    Rabbi Boteach, unlike some who have responded here, is an unabashed and wonderful defender of Israel. May he continue to castigate in as many public forums and in as many ways as possible, those who display their racism and bigotry against Jews and Israel by boycotting the Country and ALL her citizens.

  3. Lioudmila Levina says:

    So it is right to call people supporting Israel or traditional definition of marriage “bigots” and wrong to call BDS activists and this Lorde the same name? There is a definition of “bigot” in Oxford dictionary and it goe_s both ways. According to your article you allow some people to discriminate others in the sake of PC.

  4. john nemesh says:

    This article is written as a matter of opinion.Condescending opinion which missed the point.

    Lorde is actually no longer the issue.

    It is all the potential “other Lorde” artists who will also be pressured by BDS hate and lie propaganda from now on.Typically of young and ignorant social media vulnerables,Lorde backed down extremely quickly…….she and others are susceptible to real pressure.

    I think the ad was the correct decision in the greater scheme of things–artists should know that blowback and pressure will go two ways, not just one.

    Rabbi Boteach was correct—-and “guilt by association” as to where his articles are printed is a low act, and very unprofessional by Jenni Frazer

  5. Adrian Jackson says:

    Finally some calm and balance debate on the Lorde situation from Jenni Frazer.

    I cant say the same for Boteach who comes across as a raving nutter.

  6. ben gershon says:

    he always was and always be a self promoter.

    any thing to get his name out there


  7. Dianne Moses says:

    I am in complete agreement with your wisdom and well-chosen words about the stupidity of Boteach’s ill-conceived action.

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