Israelis Sue New Zealanders for Allegedly Convincing Pop Singer to Cancel Show
The move is the first lawsuit filed under a 2011 Israeli law, which paves the way for legal action against anyone calling for a boycott against Israel, if that call could knowingly lead to a boycott.
An Israeli legal rights group, Shurat HaDin, has announced that it is suing the two New Zealanders for allegedly convincing pop singer Lorde to cancel her show in the Jewish state on behalf of three would-be concertgoers for about $13,000 in damages.
According to the group, two New Zealanders, one of Jewish and one of Palestinian origin, knew that their letter to Lorde could trigger a boycott, making them open to a suit under the 2011 Israeli law. The legislation paves the way for legal action against anyone calling for a boycott against Israel, including of lands it has occupied, if that call could knowingly lead to a boycott.
"This lawsuit is an effort to give real consequences to those who selectively target Israel and seek to impose an unjust and illegal boycott against the Jewish state," said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the group's head and lawyer said.
"They must be held to compensate Israeli citizens for the moral and emotional injury and the indignity caused by their discriminatory actions."
According to her, the 2011 law has not yet been tested in court as it is difficult to prove that a boycott and a call for one are linked. However, in this case, according to her, the connection is clear as the New Zealanders "took credit" for Lorde's decision to cancel her performance in Israel.
Singer Lorde Gives in to Pressure, Cancels Tel Aviv Show
New Zealand songwriter Lorde has cancelled her show in Tel Aviv following online fan pressure. An enormously successful singer and producer, the 21-year-old daughter of Croatian and Irish parents noted that an overwhelming number of her fans requested the move, citing support for the burgeoning Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement encouraging the financial isolation of Israel due to its 1967 seizure and ongoing occupation of Palestine.
The Tel Aviv concert was to have been included in a summer 2018 tour, until fans got wind of the show and asked her to change her mind.
"I've received an overwhelming number of messages & letters and 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," Lorde stated in a release distributed by the Israeli promoters in Tel Aviv responsible for producing her show.