Israelis sue New Zealanders over Lorde boycott

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An Israeli legal rights group is suing two New Zealanders it blames for convincing pop singer Lorde to cancel her performance in Israel.

Shurat HaDin said on Wednesday that it had filed the suit in a Jerusalem court on behalf of three Israeli concert ticket-holders.

The group said the lawsuit is intended to give “real consequences to those who selectively target Israel and seek to impose an unjust and illegal boycott against the Jewish state”.

The three Israelis are seeking about $13,000 in damages.

Lorde announced late last year that she was cancelling her planned June 2018 concert in Tel Aviv.

The two New Zealanders – one Jewish and one Palestinian – had appealed to the singer in an open letter to “join the artistic boycott of Israel”.

New Zealand People Lorde
Lorde’s handwritten thank-you note published in the New Zealand Herald (Nick Perry/AP)

Her handwritten thank-you note was published as an ad in The New Zealand Herald on Wednesday.

It has doodles honouring fellow Kiwi musicians as well as sightings of other attendees at the Grammy Awards ceremony in New York on Sunday night.

She also thanks them for believing in female musicians: “You set a beautiful precedent!”

Social media took her absence from the night’s performances as a snub, since other album of the year nominees performed, as did classic rockers with no current nominations.

Recording Academy president Neil Portnow had said backstage that it was hard to have a balanced show, but later had to retract a comment that women had to “step up”.

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