A lawsuit filed in Israel seeks damages from two activists in New Zealand, blaming them for the singer Lorde’s selection to cancel a planned concert in Tel Aviv. It appears to be the first use of a controversial Israeli law against calling for boycotts of Israel or the territory it controls.
The defendants — 1 of Palestinian descent, and the other Jewish — drew attention in December when they published an open letter to Lorde, a fellow New Zealander, which was a single of many calls for her to reconsider a scheduled overall performance in Israel next summer time. Days later, she named off the concert.
The suit, filed on Tuesday, demands 45,000 Israeli shekels, or about $13,200, on behalf of 3 Israeli teenagers who had purchased tickets for the concert. It demands payment not from the singer, but from the authors of the open letter, Nadia Abu-Shanab and Justine Sachs.
In 2011, the Israeli Knesset passed a law permitting civil litigation by anyone who can claim economic harm from a boycott against Israel, any of its institutions, or an location below Israeli control. The law drew fierce criticism from Israeli civil liberties groups, who named it a violation of cost-free speech rights, but in 2015, the Supreme Court upheld the bulk of it.
Both advocates and opponents of the measure say the suit over Lorde’s cancellation is the very first action filed below the law. If it succeeds, it could have broad implications for the increasing movement in the United States, Europe and elsewhere to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel, mostly in protest against its settlement and safety practices in the West Bank. The movement is known as B.D.S.
The plaintiffs “were hurt by the show’s cancellation. They are fans of the singer, went immediately to purchase tickets as soon as they heard she is coming to Israel — they had been very enthusiastic, had planned on going collectively,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the lawyer who filed the suit, mentioned in an interview. For the teenagers, she stated, “There is also the national side to the lawsuit. As citizens of this country, as citizens who will next year serve this nation in the military or civil service, they were hurt from the B.D.S. movement.”
Ms. Darshan-Leitner leads a group, Shurat HaDin, that sues Israel’s enemies and critics, with mixed outcomes.
Adam Keller, a spokesman for Gush Shalom, a group that has unsuccessfully challenged the law, said he was not confident that an Israeli court would accept the idea that “being deprived of the pleasure of listening to your favored singer would be considered harm.”
“There is also a serious question to regardless of whether Israeli law can even apply to people in another country,” he said. “Only on issues that are regarded universal laws, like genocide or piracy, is that usually accepted.”
Any try to enforce a judgment in such a case, he said, could swiftly grow to be a diplomatic dilemma for Israel.
1 of the defendants in the Lorde case, Ms. Sachs, wrote on Twitter that when she 1st learned of the suit, she thought it might not be accurate. Later, she wrote, she discovered that it was “a stupid stunt.”
Opponents of the law stated they had been surprised that it had not been invoked earlier, thinking about that advocacy of anti-Israel boycotts is not rare.
Israel is not the only nation with anti-boycott laws. Because the 1970s, American laws enacted specifically with Israel in thoughts have prohibited companies from taking component in boycotts of any nation, unless the boycotts are sanctioned by the United States government. In France, advocacy of anti-Israel boycotts can be deemed a hate crime.
Published at Thu, 01 Feb 2018 00:20:52 +0000