New Zealand Activists Ordered To Pay Damages For Lorde’s Canceled Israel Concert

Two New Zealand activists, who were sued by ticketholders after urging Lorde not to perform a scheduled concert in Tel Aviv, Israel, are being ordered to pay damages, Associated Press reports.

An Israeli court ruled Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab must pay more than $12,000 for allegedly persuading Lorde to cancel the show. A representative for Lorde did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

In December 2017, Sachs and Abu-Shanab wrote an open letter that was published on New Zealand website The Spinoff imploring Lorde to reconsider holding the concert, which was originally scheduled to take place June 5th as part of her 2018 world tour.

Lorde responded to their letter via tweet. “Noted! Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options,” she wrote. “Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too.” A few days after their open letter was published, Lorde nixed the concert.

The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of three teenagers who purchased tickets to the concert, sought 45,000 Israeli shekels (about $13,200) in damages from Sachs and Abu-Shanab. No damages were sought from the singer.

The suit may mark the first action filed under a controversial Israeli anti-boycott law, which allows civil suits to be brought by anyone who can claim economic harm from a boycott against Israel, any of its institutions, or an area under Israeli control.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, told the AP that the decision sends a message that “no one can boycott Israel without paying for it.”

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