A LOT OF drama has ensued since 21-year-old musician Lorde cancelled her Israeli tour dates back in December.
It all began when fans Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab wrote an open letter pleading with the singer to pull out of her Tel Aviv concert. Justine is a young Jewish woman in New Zealand who is opposed to the occupation of Palestine, while Nadia is a Palestinian New Zealander with family living in Palestine’s West Bank.
They told the singer that “a performance in Israel sends the wrong message. Playing in Tel Aviv will be seen as giving support to the policies of the Israeli government.”
Justine and Nadia continued:
The military occupation of Palestinian territories has resulted in an apartheid state. Palestinians living in the occupied territories do not enjoy the same rights Israeli citizens enjoy, they are denied freedom of movement and often basic services and necessities.
Israel’s violations are so brutal, Nelson Mandela’s own grandson Mandla Mandela said “The settlements I saw in the West bank reminded me of what we had suffered in South Africa because we also were surrounded by many settlements and were not allowed to move from one place to another freely. Palestinians are being subjected to the worst version of apartheid.
Lorde acknowledged the open letter and later announced that she would be cancelling the concert.
I’ve received an overwhelming number of messages and letters and had a lot of discussions with people holding many views and I think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show.
A few days later, a US celebrity rabbi named Shmuley Boteach took out a full-page advertisement in the Washington Post calling the singer a ‘bigot’.
Now, it is reported that an Israeli legal rights group called Shurat HaDin are taking legal action against Justine and Nadia, the two New Zealanders who wrote to Lorde, urging her to cancel the Tel Aviv concert.
In 2011, Israel introduced an anti-boycott law which means that anyone who calls for a boycott against Israel can have a civil lawsuit filed against them. Stereogum wrote that Shurat HaDin are suing the two women for around €7,700 in damages.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of Shurat HaDin, said that:
This lawsuit is an effort to give real consequences to those who selectively target Israel and seek to impose an unjust and illegal boycott against the Jewish state. They must be held to compensate Israeli citizens for the moral and emotional injury and the indignity caused by their discriminatory actions.
In spite of these comments, Justine Sachs told Stereogum that she was unaware of any lawsuit.
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