1 Feb 2018

Israeli Lorde fans are suing two New Zealand activists

10:27 am on 1 February 2018

Oh Lordey.


Lorde performs at Coachella 2017.

Lorde performs at Coachella 2017. Photo: AFP

Three Israeli teenagers are suing the New Zealand activists whose open letter led to Lorde cancelling a concert in Tel Aviv. 

The 17-year-old women are suing Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab about $20,000 for “mental harm.” 

In December, Sachs and Abu-Shanab wrote a letter urging Lorde to cancel her performance in Israel. 

“Please join the artistic boycott of Israel, cancel your Israeli tour dates and make a stand,” the letter read. 

Lorde responded on Twitter, saying she had noted their concerns. She later cancelled the concert. 

This morning, The Israel Law Centre's Nitsana Darshan-Leitner told RNZ that Sachs and Abu-Shanab were being sued under a new anti-boycott law. 

Darshan-Leitner said the plaintiffs were Lorde fans, and held tickets to the Tel Aviv concert. 

She said the young women were “extremely disappointed when Lorde cancelled her show, and were much more disappointed when they heard and understood what were the reasons.

“They decided that they were going to bring this case to justice in the court in Israel,” Darshan-Leitner said. 

She said the problem with Lorde’s decision not to play in Israel was that it was based on false allegations. 

“The position of the plaintiffs is that the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement is a movement that is trying to destroy the state of Israel, that spreads lies and libel against Israel, it’s a movement that wants to harm the citizens of the state of Israel, and they have no idea what’s really going on here in Israel,” Darshan-Leitner said. 

She said the plaintiffs' action showed that people were going to stand up for Israel. 

“If Lorde would have the guts to come here and see with her own eyes, she would see that Israel is the most democratic state - not in the world - but in the Middle East.” 

When first contacted by the Associated Press, Sachs said she was unaware of the lawsuit.  

She later tweeted: “Israel the only "democracy" in the Middle East where New Zealanders get sued for exercising their freedom of speech.....in New Zealand.” 


Lorde is yet to comment on the lawsuit.