Court orders New Zealand BDS activists to pay damages over Lorde concert cancellation

“This decision makes it clear that anyone who calls for a boycott against the State of Israel could find themselves liable for damages…if they’re in Israel or not,” attorney Darshan-Leitner stated.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

Judge Mirit Fohrer of the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered Nadia Abu-Shanab and Justine Sachs –  BDS promoters from New Zealand –  to pay 45,000 shekels ($12,400) in compensation to three Israeli teens who had bought tickets to a Lorde concert, which was ultimately cancelled due to pressure from the two anti-Israel activists, the Hebrew-language Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

Lorde, whose real name is Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, announced the cancellation of her June concert in December after receiving a letter from the two women urging her not to go to Israel.

“Playing in Tel Aviv will be seen as giving support to the policies of the Israeli government, even if you make no comment on the political situation,” Abu-Shanab and Sachs wrote, claiming that “the military occupation of Palestinian territories has resulted in an apartheid state.”

“This worked very effectively against apartheid in South Africa, and we hope it can work again,” the letter said.

After posting on her Twitter account that she was “considering all options,” the 21-year-old Lorde responded: “Noted! Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too.”

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the non-profit Shurat Hadin-Israeli Law Center launched a lawsuit and won against Sachs and Abu-Shanab for 45,000 shekels on behalf of the Israelis who had bought tickets for the event, which was to take place in Tel Aviv.

Darshan-Leitner said the lawsuit was based on the 2011 “Anti-Boycott Law” from 2011, which allows anyone or who calls for a boycott of Israel or Israeli institution to be sued for damages. The Israeli fans were “seriously disappointed,” she said.

“This is a precedent-setting ruling according to the Boycott Law,” the attorney said Thursday, according to The Jerusalem Post. “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, if they’re in Israel or not.”

“There is a treaty between Israel and New Zealand on enforcing judgments, so the decision by an Israeli court will affect those activists,” she added. “We will enforce this ruling in New Zealand, and go after their bank accounts until it has been fully realized.”