NZ activists dismiss Israel court order over Lorde concert
Following Israeli court's ruling that Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab, whose open letter to singer Lorde contributed to artist's decision to cancel her performance in Israel, must pay $12,000 in damages, the women say instead of compensating Israeli concert-goers, they will donate that sum to Gaza charities.
The women say the ruling aims "to intimidate Israel's critics."
Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab said on Friday that instead of paying the $12,000 damages to Israeli ticketholders who claimed the cancellation caused emotional distress, they will fundraise for a Gaza mental health organization.
They say New Zealand legal experts advised them that Israel "has no right to police the political opinions of people across the world."
On Thursday it was revealed that an Israeli court ordered the two women to compensate the Israeli ticket holders for emotional distress caused by the concert's cancellation.
The suit was filed under a law allowing civil lawsuits against advocates of boycotting Israel. The women wrote an open letter last year urging Lorde to "join the artistic boycott of Israel," after which Lorde canceled her show.
Three Israelis filed the initial lawsuit. Their lawyer, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Shurat HaDin advocacy group, says the decision sends a message that "no one can boycott Israel without paying for it."
It remained unclear whether her clients would be able to collect the cash. Darshan-Leitner said she intended to enforce the judgment through "international treaties" and go after the women's bank accounts, either in New Zealand or if they try to travel abroad.
Lorde—whose real name is Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor—caved in to pressures exerted on her by fans and members of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and decided to cancel her performance date in Israel in June 2017.