Israeli court orders New Zealand women to pay more than £8,000 after they urged Lorde to boycott the country

Independent – by Colin Drury

An Israeli court has ordered two New Zealand women to pay damages after they wrote a letter urging the pop star Lorde to cancel a show in Tel Aviv as part of a cultural boycott.

Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab have been told to pay NZ$18,000 (£8,860) after penning the open letter which the Grammy Award-winning singer later appeared to suggest influenced her decision to drop the June performance.  

The money will go to three Israeli teenagers who brought the court action, claiming their “artistic welfare” had been harmed by the no-show.

The trio – Shoshana Steinbach, Ayelet Wertzel and Ahuva Frogel – said they had suffered “damage to their good name as Israelis and Jews”, The Jerusalem Postreports.

It is understood to be the first effective use of a 2011 Israeli law allowing civil lawsuits of anyone who encourages a boycott of the country.

But it remains unclear if the ruling can be enforced. Neither women live in Israel and the pair did not attended the court hearing. A spokesperson for the New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs said it would be up to the country’s courts to decide whether the claim for damages was enforceable.

In a joint statement, Ms Sachs and Ms Abu-Shanab said they had been inundated with offers of financial assistance but had no intention of paying the damages.

Instead, the pair said they were using the publicity to start a crowdfunding page to raise funds for The Gaza Mental Health Foundation.

“Our advice from New Zealand legal experts has been clear: Israel has no right to police the political opinions of people across the world,” the statement read. “We’ve contacted the relevant people in our government in the hope they can make it clear that New Zealand will not stand by and allow Israel to attempt to bully its citizens.”

The lawsuit came after Lorde – who is also from New Zealand – hinted her decision to can the gig was a direct result of the pair’s letter.

“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,” she wrote when announcing the decision in December 2017. “I’m not too proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one.”

In the open communication circulated widely online, Ms Sachs and Ms Abu-Shanab wrote: “Dear Lorde … we’re two young women based in Aotearoa, one Jewish, one Palestinian.

“Today, millions of people stand opposed to the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, ethnic cleansing, human rights violations, occupation and apartheid. As part of this struggle, we believe that an economic, intellectual and artistic boycott is an effective way of speaking out against these crimes. This worked very effectively against apartheid in South Africa, and we hope it can work again.

“We can play an important role in challenging injustice today. We urge you to act in the spirit of progressive New Zealanders who came before you and continue their legacy.”

6 thoughts on “Israeli court orders New Zealand women to pay more than £8,000 after they urged Lorde to boycott the country

  1. Tell Israel to SUCK A Fresh TURD.. …”artistic welfare”…..lmao…”damaged their good name as Israelis and Jews”..
    ISRAEL is SATAN in disguise…( Is-hell.. )


  2. So it’s illegal to urge someone not to play music in another country? (Especially when it’s not even their country to begin with)

    Unfrigginbelievable… Only the Jews would be so childish.

  3. Right. these two folks put a gun to Lorde’s head forcing Lorde to boycott Israel. So instead of suing a (likely) millionaire (that is, Lorde), they’re gonna sue two people who likely can’t pay the 8 thousand pounds….but gee, if they sued Lorde, they’d have to sue Roger Waters, who is likely even richer than Lorde! And I am sure both Lorde and Waters have the loot to counter-sue, soooo….

    Not saying anyone should be sued, of course. Except for Israel, a country owned by the Satanic Rothschilds (70 percent), a country committing genocide, and a country that forces the US to defend it because they can’t defend themselves (as Hezbollah proved in 2006) while murdering 34 of our sailors in 1967…and the descendants of those 34 sailors and over a hundred wounded OUGHT TO SUE ISRAEL!

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