Open Letter to Lauryn Hill

lauryn-hill

Dear Ms. Hill,

I’ve written many letters over the past few years to various celebrities regarding their stance on Israel and in many cases I have very little trouble putting my sentiment into words.  However, if I am to take your statement on face value I find myself in a more difficult position today, because on one side there is the indication of genuineness on your part, while on the other side, even if your intentions started off pure, you now have a greater responsibility as a result of your actions.  That responsibility is to the truth.

I am of course referring to your recent decision to cancel your performances in Israel.  While you did not make any indication that you were challenging the position or behavior of the Israeli government, many on social media have taken your decision and used it as an opportunity to express their vile and unwarranted hatred for Israel and the Jewish people.  You made the following statement:

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.

My entire motivation for this letter to you can be taken back to that statement included in your letter in which you stated your decision to cancel the trip to Israel.  For all the times I have confronted blatant anti-Semites, unapologetic haters of Israel, and celebrities biased against fairness towards the Jewish people, I personally will choose to give you the benefit of the doubt and take your words as being honest and well-meant. However Ms. Hill, the catch to all of this is that for your words to carry meaning you need to back them up with some action.

I have often said that as a human-being I have no problem with people caring about the well-being of innocent Palestinian civilians as long as they do so with acceptance of the facts as to the true factors causing their plight and most importantly, that their concern is not at the expense of the citizens of the State of Israel.  If it is truly very important to you that your message not be misconstrued, now is the time to make certain it is not.  Follow up your statement with a comment stating your cancellation was based on logistical problems not on protest against Israeli policy. Based on your own words you have a responsibility to do just that, for your message is not only being misconstrued, it is being misrepresented, manipulated and exploited by those who look for every opportunity to attack Israel and the Jewish people.  To be quite frank with you Ms. Hill, this will also tell the world whether or not you truly did run into logistical issues or you were merely succumbing to pressure from the haters of the Jewish state.

So yes Ms. Hill, I am challenging you.  I do so because you have an unprecedented opportunity. You can show an equal concern for both Palestinians and Israelis in a manner not often seen in today’s world.  However to do so honestly you now have to stand up and defend Jewish people.  Please don’t let us down.  Please be true to your word.  How you respond to these concerns will determine whether or not you are just another hater without the courage of your convictions, or a genuine woman trying her best to use her art to make everyone’s life better.  I certainly hope it turns out to be the latter.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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