Israel fines New Zealand women $18,000 for urging Lorde concert boycott
Judge rules ‘artistic welfare’ of three Israeli teenagers was harmed by actions of Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab Eleanor Ainge Royin Dunedin
In December 2017 the Grammy winning New Zealand pop star Lorde cancelled her planned June 2018 concert in Tel Aviv after a social media campaign sparked by an open letter from Sachs and Abu-Shanab.
An Israel court has ordered two New Zealand women to pay damages for harming the “artistic welfare” of three Israeli teenagers after the pop star Lorde cancelled a planned performance in Tel Aviv.
Judge Mirit Fohrer ruled that Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab of New Zealand must pay damages to Israeli teenagers Shoshana Steinbach, Ayelet Wertzel and Ahuva Frogel totalling more than NZ$18,000 for writing a letter urging the singer to cancel her concert in Tel Aviv, the Jerusalem Post reports.
It is believed to be the first effective use of a 2011 Israeli law allowing civil lawsuits of anyone who encourages a boycott of Israel.
The Israeli teenagers claimed their “artistic welfare” was damaged because of the cancellation and that they suffered “damage to their good name as Israelis and Jews”.
It remained unclear whether the claimants would be able to collect the cash. Legal experts said the judgement was not automatically enforceable under New Zealand law, and the chance of the women being compelled to pay damages was unlikely as they were not in Israel when they wrote the open letter and did not participate in the court process in any way.
“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,” Lorde wrote at the time, adding: “I’m not too proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one.”
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, president of the Shurat HaDin NGO, who filed the suit called the ruling “precedent-setting”.
“This decision makes it clear that anyone who calls for a boycott against the state of Israel could find themselves liable for damages and need to pay compensation to those hurt by the boycott call,
You gotta be kidding!
At the time that calls for the boycott began, Lorde said she had received an “overwhelming number of messages and letters” regarding the issue.
“Dear Lorde … we’re two young women based in Aotearoa, one Jewish, one Palestinian,” wrote Sachs and Abu-Shanab in their open letter.
“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.”
The cultural boycott of Israel through the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement launched in 2005 and has gathered momentum in recent years even if its economic impact remains negligible.
You really can’t make this stuff up. The Guardian should have been headlined CHUTZPAH. On the other hand it shows you just how far Israel has fallen, If you have been living under a rock there is a cultural boycott of Israel for its obvious apartheid policies, its consistent flouting of international law. israel for many sad reasons has become a pariah state for its 50 year occupation. Hence the boycott, a traditional nonviolent way to bring a country to its senses. Isolating the apartheid regime like this finally brought South Africa to its knees.
Elvis Costello one of the huge artists who has snubbed Israel put it this way: “Sometimes a silence in music is better than adding to the static. It is impossible to look the other way.” Bravo for Annie Lennox, the Pixies and in September American singer Lana Del Ray who had come under pressure from the Palestine Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel “We doubt that you would have played in apartheid South Africa; likewise, artists refuse to play in apartheid Israel.”Del Ray cancelled.
Roger waters at “the Wall”
Artists who have participated in the boycott of include Brian Eno and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, writers Arundhati Roy, Eduardo Galeano and film-makers Ken Loach and Mike Leigh (Secrets and Lies, Topsy Turvy) who spoke as a British Jew:
When the time comes that Israel behaves respectably, and when there is a just peace for the Palestinians, and when Gaza is returned to humanity, then I will be first in line to go and share anything that anyone wants to with my colleagues, the Israeli filmmakers and other artists”.
An academic boycott of israel has been in place for years fror the simple reason that”Israeli universities are major, willing and persistent accomplices in Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.” The late genius Stephen Hawking was one such academic.
If one reads papers and pays attention to Israel’s barbaric behaviour this is a no brainer. The latest examples
For more than five months, beginning in March Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have protested along the fence with Israel demanding their right to return to the homes and land their families were expelled from 70 years ago.This is a right established in international law which israel constantly ignores,The Great March of Return rallies culminated on May 15 to mark what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or Catastrophe – a reference to the forced removal of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages to clear the way for Israel’s establishment in 1948. Now get this, while the world sleeps and gives Israel a free pass Israeli forces have killed at least 205 Palestinians and wounded more than 18,000 according to health officials in Gaza.
Number of Israelis killed zero.
One would have thought Canadian papers would have given this a big play but the perilous condition of our daily journals and the CBC are running scared in fear of Canadian Israel-firsters
On Friday October 12, 7 more were killed including two teenage boys, Ho hum, Palestinian life is very cheap in “the only democracy in the Middle East.”