BDS activists will use publicity to promote Palestine cause

October 12, 2018 by Elana Bowman
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Two New Zealanders have been ruled to pay NIS45,000 [A$17,500 NZ$19,000]  for their role in the cancellation of pop icon Lorde’s Israeli concert earlier this year.

Justine Sachs Photo: LinkedIn

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court’s Judge Mirit Fohrer has ruled that two New Zealand BDS activists Justine Sachs, who is Jewish, and Nadia Abu-Shanab must pay damages for their role in the cancellation of a scheduled Lorde concert in Tel Aviv.

On Wednesday it was ruled that the activists must pay the damages to the three Israeli minors named in the lawsuit who had purchased tickets to the concert.

But Justine Sachs has stated that they will not be paying. Instead, they will be using the publicity surrounding the  Israeli court’s decision bring attention to the Palestinian cause.

They will be launching and using a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for The Gaza Mental Health Foundation. They claim all donations will provide vital mental health support to the traumatised families of the Gaza Strip.

The suit was filed by Shurat HaDin in January by attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, president of the Shurat HaDin NGO on behalf of Shoshana Steinbach, Ayelet Wertzel and Ahuva Frogel.

They purchased tickets to see Lorde, but they were refunded when the show was cancelled.

The suit demanded NIS 15,000 in damages for each of the teenagers, claiming that their “artistic welfare” was harmed as was their leisure time, “and above all damage to their good name as Israelis and Jews.” The lawsuit said that Lorde’s response in December on Twitter to the letter Sachs and Abu-Shanab penned showed a direct connection to the concert cancellation.

Lorde Photo: Facebook

Fohrer ruled that in addition to the NIS 45,000, the activists should also pay close to NIS 11,000 in legal fees.

The lawsuit cited the 2011 Israeli Anti-Boycott Law, which allows for civil suits against entities who call for a boycott of the state. Some critics have stated that this law serves to silence free expression, while others support its tough stance on anti-Israel activism.

This is a precedent-setting ruling according to the Boycott Law,” Darshan-Leitner said on Thursday. “This decision makes it clear that anyone who calls for a boycott against the State of Israel could find themselves liable for damages and need to pay compensation to those hurt by the boycott call, if they’re in Israel or outside it.”

When asked how the court intended to enforce its ruling, Darshan-Leitner said that Israel and New Zealand have legal agreements that will allow the court to pursue the damages.

“We will enforce this ruling in New Zealand, and go after their bank accounts until it has been fully realized,” Darshan-Leitner said.

Last December, New Zealand singer Lorde announced a concert in Tel Aviv slated for June 2018. After an intense boycott campaign and social media pressure, the singer pulled out of the concert, stating “I have had a lot of discussions with people holding many views, and I think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show.”

Lorde had previously responded on Twitter to an open letter written by Sachs and Abu-Shanab on the New Zealand website Spinoff. The letter called on Lorde to cancel the concert, since “playing in Tel Aviv will be seen as giving support to the policies of the Israeli government.”



One Response to “BDS activists will use publicity to promote Palestine cause”
  1. Eion Isaac says:

    Funds for the Gazan Arabs are understandable from a Humanitarian View but funds will go to the Belligerance against the Jewish People
    The Hamas Charter preaches great hate against the Jewish People as does the Eduction and Indocrination of the Young Arabic People.
    New Zealand a large and underpopulated water plentiful island refused to offer Tens of Thousands of the Jewish People safe refugee from Nazism before WW2 .

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