Israel fines New Zealanders for encouraging Lorde to cancel Tel Aviv concert
Lorde’s decision to scrap her scheduled concert in Israel could have financial ramifications.
An Israel court has ordered two New Zealanders to pay fines and damages totalling NZ$18,000 for harming the “artistic welfare” of three Israeli teenagers after the singer canned her show, booked for July 2018 in Tel Aviv.
Judge Mirit Fohrer told Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court that the two women, Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab, must pay out for writing a letter which may have contributed to Lorde’s u-turn.
The teens, Shoshana Steinbach, Ayelet Wertzel and Ahuva Frogel, bought tickets to the show and, in a suit served in January, argued the cancelation caused “damage to their good name as Israelis and Jews,” The Jerusalem Post reports.
It’s considered to be one of the first cases under the controversial 2011 Israeli Anti-Boycott Law, which allows for civil litigation by anyone who can claim economic harm from a boycott against the state. Critics argue the law stifles free expression.
Sachs and Abu-Shanab last year wrote an open letter to Lorde in which they called on her to “take a stand” and “join the artistic boycott of Israel.” The “Royals” singer replied to a tweet of the letter saying “Noted! Been speaking (with) many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too.” Soon after, she cancelled the show. In a statement posted on Christmas Eve 2017, the singer wrote, “I’m not proud to admit I didn’t make the right call on this one.”
Her decision didn’t go down quietly. An Orthodox Jewish rabbi responded by taking out a full-page ad in The Washington Post with the headline “Lorde And New Zealand Ignore Syria To Attack Israel.” The ad also carried the phrase, “21 Is Young To Become A Bigot.”
Quite how the young Israeli trio will collect the money is another matter. A spokesperson for the New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs told The Guardian, “Whether a foreign judgment is enforceable in New Zealand will be governed by the laws of New Zealand and is a question for the Courts of New Zealand to determine.”
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.