The Middle East has been in a state of unrest for many years, and because of Trump’s recent stunt, proclaiming that Jerusalem is now the capital of Israel, things have only gotten worse. It’s no wonder that many performers are participating in artistic boycotts and are refusing to perform in the country.
Grammy Award-nominated artist Lorde recently canceled her scheduled concert in Tel Aviv after receiving an open letter from two New Zealand teenagers urging her to “take a stand” by refusing to perform in Israel. The New Zealanders, Justine Sachs, who is a Jew, and Nadia Abu-Shanab, who comes from a Palestinian family, said they were activists working for “an end to Israeli apartheid” and believed “an economic, intellectual and artistic boycott is an effective way of speaking out.”
“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, even if you make no comment on the political situation.”
Lorde replied back that she had “noted” the information and admitted that she is still learning about the political unrest herself and appreciated them educating her on the subject. A week later, Lorde canceled the tour date, which seems to have angered a lot of people, because now there’s a lawsuit.
Three teenage Israeli fans of the pop star Lorde have filed a lawsuit against the two activists who wrote the letter to Lorde, claiming thousands of pounds in “emotional injury” damages. The case, which was filed by an Israeli legal rights group, appears to be the first use of a controversial law that allows civil suits to be opened against anyone calling for a boycott against Israel.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the lawyer representing the Isreali teenagers, said the claim was the first to show a direct link between the call for a boycott and the “harm” caused.
“These girls [the teenagers] are ideologists. They are going into the army next year, and they feel very shamed and hurt by the allegations that the New Zealand activists blamed Israel for,” she said.
“They want to say on a personal and an international level, that those who boycott Israel or make a call to boycott Israel will be responsible and they have to pay,” she said, adding that agreements between the two states compelled New Zealand to enforce the ruling.
If this all seems ridiculous to you, it’s because it is and one of the New Zealand women being sued had the perfect response to what appears to be a stunt by the Israeli government.
She’s absolutely right. Is anyone surprised that Israel is Trump’s favorite country? He’d probably love to implement laws like this one to use against the free press.
Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty