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FL rep demands axing of Lorde shows amid Israel row

Randy Fine, a state representative in Florida, has demanded venues in Tampa and Miami cancel their upcoming Lorde shows in order to comply with the state’s anti-BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) legislation.

Lorde’s Melodrama world tour is due to visit Amalie Arena (21,500-cap.) on 11 April and American Airlines Arena (20,021-cap.) on 12 April. However, both venues are publicly owned – the former by Hillsborough County and the latter by Miami-Dade County – and, under a law introduced in February 2016, no Florida state or local government is permitted to conduct business exceeding US$1 million with any organisation engaged in a boycott of Israel.

New Zealand singer Lorde in December cancelled a planned show in Tel Aviv under pressure from the anti-Israel BDS movement, which campaigns against what it calls Israeli “oppression” of Palestinian Arabs.

“Florida has no tolerance for antisemitism and boycotts intended to destroy the state of Israel,” says Fine (pictured). “That’s why Florida passed groundbreaking anti-BDS legislation several years ago and why, along with senator Jeff Brandes, I have proposed strengthening that legislation this year. Current statutes are clear: local governments cannot do business with companies that participate in antisemitic boycotts of Israel.

“The taxpayers of Miami and Tampa should not have to facilitate bigotry and antisemitism”

“When Lorde joined the boycott in December, she and her companies became subject to that statute.

“The taxpayers of Miami and Tampa should not have to facilitate bigotry and antisemitism, and I look forward to [venue owners] the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority and the Tampa Sports Authority complying with the law and cancelling these concerts.”

Tampa Sports Authority and the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority declined to comment.

Randy Fine is the state representative from Florida’s district 53, centred on Brevard County.


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