Israeli group sues NZ activists over cancelled Lorde’s show

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An Israeli legal rights group is suing two New Zealand activists after their open letter convinced singer Lorde to cancel her planned show in Tel Aviv, it was reported Thursday.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, a lawyer for Shurat HaDinm, told Radio New Zealand that boycotts are ignorant and aim to destroy 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,” she said.

In December, Jewish-New Zealander Justine Sachs and Palestinian-New Zealander Nadia Abu-Shanab wrote a letter to Lorde published by local website The Spinoff.

“Playing in Tel Aviv will be seen as giving support to the policies of the Israeli government, even if you make no comment on the political situation,” the activists wrote.

The singer responded on Twitter, saying the concerns had been “Noted!”

Days later, the 21-year-old cancelled the performance which was due to conclude her Melodrama world tour.

Darshan-Leitner said her group was suing the activists for compensation, claiming 15,000 dollars for mental harm to those teenagers hurt by the show’s cancellation.

Sachs said in a statement that she and Abu-Shanab were seeking legal advice “and also going about our everyday lives because we have better things to do.”

Artists who have participated in the cultural boycott of Israel through the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement include Brian Eno and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, writers Arundhati Roy and Eduardo Galeano and film-maker Ken Loach.

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