Two activists have been ordered to pay 45,000 shekels ($12,246) for their part in persuading New Zealand singer Lorde to pull out of a concert at the Convention Centre (cap. 9,000) in Tel Aviv last June.
The pair, also New Zealanders, supported global movement Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which campaigned for the artiste to pull-out. BDS calls for sanctions against Israel until the occupied territories are returned to Palestinians.
Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court ruled this month that Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab should pay damages to three young Israelis, named in the lawsuit, who had purchased tickets to the concert.
Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, president of international anti-boycott organisation Shurat HaDin, told the Jerusalem Post, “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.”
“We will enforce this ruling in New Zealand and go after their bank accounts until it has been fully realised.”
It marks the first time the controversial 2011 Boycott Law has been enacted, although it remains unclear whether collection of the fine can be obtained.
Promoter Naranjah says all ticket holders were refunded within a week of the cancellation.
“We have no information about that case and we’re not involved in any claim towards Lorde, as our disengagement was smooth and everyone has moved on,” Naranjah co-founder Eran Arielli tells Audience.
After cancelling, Lorde told fans she spoke to “people holding many views” before deciding to pull-out.
A leading Israeli promoter, Shuki Weiss, tells Audience that he believes it is hypocritical for acts to boycott Israel, yet play in certain other countries.
“Artistes don’t have to agree with the governments of the countries they perform in – what about the human rights in China or building the wall in the US?,” he says.
“They have a chance to say whatever they want to say on stage in Israel.”