Last month, a New Zealand website published an op-ed urging Lorde to cancel her planned show in Israel. In response, Lorde tweeted, “Noted! Been speaking w many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too.”
Four days later, she canceled the concert. Now, the op-ed’s authors—one of whom is Israeli, the other Palestinian—are being sued under Israel’s controversial anti-boycott law, the Associated Press reports. The $13,000 suit, filed by Israeli organization Shurat HaDin, is for alleged “moral and emotional injury” to three “would-be concertgoers,” according to AP.
Established in 2011, the law allows claimants to file civil suits against anyone calling for a boycott of Israel, including territories it occupies, if they know it could trigger a boycott. Because it’s hard to link calls for a boycott to an actual boycott, the law hasn’t yet been tested in court. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the Shurat HaDin lawyer who is representing the plaintiffs, told AP, “This lawsuit is an effort to give real consequences to those who selectively target Israel and seek to impose an unjust and illegal boycott against the Jewish state. They must be held to compensate Israeli citizens for the moral and emotional injury and the indignity caused by their discriminatory actions.”
Lorde cancelled her show in Tel Aviv four days after Sachs and Abu-Shanab wrote their open letter asking Lorde to “take a stand” and “join the artistic boycott of Israel.” Lorde responded on Twitter: “Noted! Been speaking (with) many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too.”
Following the cancellation, Lorde was called a “bigot” by Shmuley Boteach, a U.S. rabbi with close ties to Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. Last week, Lorde was heckled for the cancellation as she performed onstage at a charity benefit with Jack Antonoff.