Talk about “melodrama”.
Three Israeli teenagers are suing two New Zealand-based activists for approximately C$15,000 (in British pounds) for swaying Lorde to cancel her Tel Aviv tour.
The lawsuit cites “emotional injury” suffered by the plaintiffs and, according to The Guardian, appears to be the first use of a 2011 law that allows civil suits against those who call for a boycott of Israel.
New Zealanders Justine Sachs, a Jew, and Nadia Abu-Shanab, who comes from a Palestinian family, are on the other side of the lawsuit. Last month, they wrote an open letter to Lorde compelling her to “take a stand” and “join the artistic boycott of Israel” by cancelling her scheduled tour stop in Tel Aviv.
“A performance in Israel sends the wrong message,” they wrote to the Grammy-nominated singer. “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.”
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said, “These girls [the teenagers] are ideologists. They are going into the army next year, and they feel very ashamed and hurt by the allegations that the New Zealand activists blamed Israel for.
“They want to say on a personal and an international level, that those who boycott Israel or make a call to boycott Israel will be responsible and they have to pay,” the attorney continued. According to the lawyer, agreements between the two states should compel New Zealand to enforce the ruling.
Sachs, one of the activists, responded to the news on Twitter.