Israeli group files lawsuit against Kiwis who convinced Lorde to ditch Tel Aviv show
An Israeli legal group has launched a lawsuit against two Kiwis after an open letter they addressed to Lorde convinced the New Zealand songstress to pull out of a show in Tel Aviv.
The Shurat HaDin Israel Law Centre, a non-profit organisation that advocates for Israeli and Jewish issues and victims of terrorism, has launched a lawsuit against Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab.
The pair wrote a joint opinion piece in The Spinoff, urging Lorde to abandon her concert in Israel because of the nation's alleged crimes against Palestine.
"Today, millions of people stand opposed to the Israeli government's policies of oppression, ethnic cleansing, human rights violations, occupation and apartheid," the article said.
"As part of this struggle, we believe that an economic, intellectual and artistic boycott is an effective way of speaking out against these crimes.
"This worked very effectively against apartheid in South Africa, and we hope it can work again."
Lorde posted a link to the article on Twitter, writing, "Noted! Been speaking (with) many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too (sic)."
Just three days later, it was revealed that her Tel Aviv show had been cancelled.
The lawsuit brought against Abu-Shanab and Sachs is believed to be the first to have been filed under controversial Israeli legislation introduced in 2011, which was designed to prevent people calling for a boycott of the country, including land it occupies.
The law, which allows courts to order defendants who successfully trigger a boycott of Israel to pay damages, has been criticised for suppressing free speech.
Shurat HaDin is filing the lawsuit on behalf of three people who would have attended Lorde's concert had she performed in Israel. The group is allegedly seeking US$13,000 (NZ$17,600).
"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," a Shurat HaDin representative said.
"They must be held to compensate Israeli citizens for the moral and emotional injury and the indignity caused by their discriminatory actions."
Since news of the lawsuit broke, Ms Sachs has taken to Twitter to label it "a stupid stunt" and use it as an example of Israel's poor approach to freedom of expression.
Ms Sachs and Ms Abu-Shanab have been approached for comment.