New Zealand activists who encouraged Lorde to boycott Israel forced to pay...

New Zealand activists who encouraged Lorde to boycott Israel forced to pay damages

Two New Zealand women have been ordered to pay $12,000 (£9,000) for encouraging Lorde to cancel a gig in Israel.
Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab appealed to the singer to “join the artistic boycott of Israel” in an open letter – and now they have been sued for damages under a 2011 Israeli law that allows civil lawsuits against anyone who calls for a boycott against the country.
Lorde acknowledged the activists’ letter via Twitter before cancelling her June (18) Tel Aviv show days later.
“Noted! Been speaking (with) many people about this and considering all options,” the Royals singer wrote. “Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too (sic).”
She then confessed she hadn’t “made the right call” in booking the gig in the first place.
Three Israeli ticket holders filed the suit against Sachs and Abu-Shanab, claiming the axed concert caused emotional distress.
Their lawyer, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, said the decision sends a message that boycotting Israel carries a price.
The two pro-Palestinian activists previously brushed off reports suggesting they were facing legal action and mocked the claim for damages for “the moral and emotional injury” suffered by the three Israeli Lorde fans.
“We all loved (Lorde album) Melodrama, but really?” the activists said. “The fact is, Israel is attempting to suppress those who dare criticise their human rights abuses… Israel’s unapologetic disregard for freedom of speech won’t wash with New Zealanders…”
“With our open letter to Lorde we joined a chorus of millions of people across the world who are calling for justice and peace in Israel/Palestine. Instead of scaring us, these bullying tactics only embolden us and make it self-evident that there is a right and wrong in this situation. We are proud to stand for what is right.”