Israeli group to sue New Zealanders over cancelled Lorde show

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An Israeli legal rights said it will resort to an Israeli anti-boycott law to take two New Zealanders to court because they allegedly persuaded compatriot pop singer Lorde to cancel her show in Israel. The lawsuit would be the first to be filed under the controversial 2011 law.

In essence, the Law for Prevention of Damage to the State of Israel through Boycott allows for civil suits to be brought against anyone who calls for a boycott on another individual or organization because of its links to Israel, and gives the country’s courts the power to levy steep fines (Haaretz) against defendants if found guilty. The law was widely criticized by Israeli news media and legal experts, who argued it would stymie free speech.

The Israeli group Shurat HaDin claims Jewish New Zealander Justine Sachs and Palestinian New Zealander Nadia Abu-Shanab knew their open letter to the pop singer – née Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor – could lead to a boycott. Lorde tweeted a response to the plea shortly after it was published on December 21, 2017 and cancelled her Tel Aviv show a few days later.

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