New Zealand Activists Claim Israeli Lawsuit in Response to Lorde Op-ed Is a “Hoax”
On Wednesday, it was widely reported that the two authors who wrote a post on the New Zealand blog The Spinoff urging Lorde not to play in Israel had been sued by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli legal rights organization acting in accordance with a controversial law banning speech advocating a boycott of Israel. The bloggers, Nadia Abu-Shana and Justine Sachs, wrote a Medium post claiming that they were never served with a suit and dismissed the whole thing as a “hoax.” From Medium:
Yesterday we heard rumours we were allegedly being sued by Israeli law firm Shurat HaDin. We believed this was a hoax, after receiving the news secondhand from a journalist. We have not received any summons or other formal notice. On this basis, as far as we are concerned, this “case” has no legitimacy. Our New Zealand friends and colleagues at work today were incredulous at news of our rumoured legal predicament. Still, Shurat HaDin has gone to the media alleging to be suing us on behalf of three ticket holders who are seeking $13,000 in damages, some of which is for the “moral and emotional injury” they suffered from being denied Lorde’s concert. We all loved Melodrama, but really?
The Associated Press broke the lawsuit story yesterday of a civil suit where three Lorde fans were seeking damages from the writers over a cancelled show in Tel Aviv. Lorde herself was not named as a defendant.
Sachs, who is Jewish, and Abu-Shanab, who is Palestinian, published the post in December asking Lorde to reconsider performing in Israel because of its occupation of the West Bank. Lorde responded via tweet that she had “Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options,” before finally dropping the June 2018 show from her tour a few days later.
“With our open letter to Lorde we joined a chorus of millions of people across the world who are calling for justice and peace in Israel/Palestine,” Abu-Shanab and Sachs wrote. “People who know the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign is a legitimate, non-violent strategy to pressure Israel into ending its occupation and apartheid regime. No intimidation tactics can or will stifle this growing movement.”
The law under which the bloggers were supposedly sued was enacted in 2011 and has never been employed in a trial.
Lorde has not commented on this development.