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JLo faces social media backlash over Tel Aviv performance

Critics say through her actions the singer is helping to whitewash Israeli crimes and cover up human rights abuses
The concert, which will be held at the Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv in August, is expected to attract thousands of fans (AFP)

US singer Jennifer Lopez, known as JLo, is facing mounting criticism over her decision to play a concert in Israel this summer. 

The event, which will be held at the Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv in August, is expected to attract thousands of fans.

Critics say the singer is helping to whitewash Israeli crimes and cover up human rights abuses against Palestinians by holding the concert.

Her visit to Israel comes at the end of her North American tour which started on 7 June.

On Twitter, social media users are using the hashtag #JLoDontGo to amplify their message and get her to cancel her performance. 

A petition started by CodePink, a women-led grassroots organisation, asking JLo to cancel her appearance has already obtained more than 4,000 signatures. 

The letter states that if the singer follows through with her performance, she would be giving Israel the green light to continue human rights violations against Palestinians.

“Just as artists’ refusal to play in the Sun City in 1980 helped end South African apartheid, you can have a significant impact towards advancing the Palestinian struggle for freedom," the letter states. 

“Please open your heart to Palestinian children and cancel your August 2019 show in Tel Aviv, Israel.”

A social media campaign is asking people to take a photo of themselves holding a sign with the hashtag - #JLo don’t go - to counter the messages of support for the singer and ask her to cancel the performance. 

In May, Madonna came under fire for her performance at the Eurovision song contest which also took place in Tel Aviv. 

Her appearance was highly controversial, after several influential figures and other singers, including Brian Eno and Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, had also called for the event to be boycotted.

During her concert, a dancer appeared wearing a Palestinian flag alongside another wearing the Israeli flag, while Icelandic Eurovision act Hatari held up Palestinian flags as their scores were announced.