Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who is the lead attorney in the case, is the president of Shurat HaDin, the group behind the suit.
Shurat HaDin is nominally suing on behalf of three Israeli teenagers who claim they are suffering “emotional injury” after learning that Lorde had canceled her concert.
They are seeking thousands of dollars in damages against the activists.
The law is part of Israel’s effort to stifle speech and activism in support of Palestinian rights.
In December, Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab wrote an open letter to Lorde, urging the New Zealand singer to reconsider her planned performance in Tel Aviv.
After news of the lawsuit broke, Sachs told The New Zealand Herald newspaper she had no comment, adding “I’ve said all I wanted to say in the open letter.”She later tweeted that she and Abu-Shanab were “seeking legal advice and also going about our everyday lives because we have better things to do.”
Sachs added that they would issue a statement “when ready.”
In their open letter to Lorde in December, the activists had noted the Israeli army’s killings and injuries to hundreds of Palestinians protesting US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as well as the military detention of Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi and members of her family.
“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 stated.
Four days later, Lorde announced she had canceled her gig, calling it “the right decision.”
“Price to pay”
Since the targeted activists are in New Zealand, and were exercising their free speech rights there, it is difficult to see how any Israeli judgment could be enforced.
Darshan-Leitner said that the suit is meant to show that “there is a price to pay for boycotting Israel” and that Israel “will fight back” against activists who advocate for the boycott.
Tellingly, Darshan-Leitner conceded to Australian media that this suit is a “test” even in Israel because proving a link between a boycott and a call for one is difficult.
Following her cancelation of the Tel Aviv concert, Israel supporters took little time to excoriate and ridicule Lorde, while Israeli politicians begged her to meet with them to discuss what the Israeli foreign ministry has termed the “hate agenda” of BDS – the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights.
Shmuley Boteach, the self-styled “America’s rabbi,” took out a full-page ad in The Washington Post accusing Lorde of joining a “global anti-Semitic boycott of Israel.”
Using a common smear tactic to condescend toward artists who choose not to cross the international picket line, Darshan-Leitner said Lorde was not a “bad person,” but claimed she was simply “uneducated,” “just influenced by others” and “leaned toward the argument from one side.”
Lorde, whose newest record was nominated for album of the year at last weekend’s Grammy Awards, has not yet reacted to the lawsuit against the activists.
Shurat HaDin’s bullying tactics are part of Israel’s well-financed campaign of repression aimed at silencing advocates of Palestinian rights, particularly in the BDS movement.
Its intimate links to Mossad exposes its litigious hunting of Palestine solidarity activists around the world as part of a repressive state’s effort to silence critics.
Also known as the Israel Law Center, the group is notorious for attacking Palestine solidarity organizations with frivolous lawsuits.
Darshan-Leitner has personally called for aggressive military action to be taken against the International Criminal Court should it ever hold any suspected Israeli war criminal, and has boasted that Shurat HaDin was directly responsible for bankrupting Gaza.
In 2011, journalist Max Blumenthal discovered that a major funder for Shurat HaDin was John Hagee, the anti-Semitic Christian Zionist American mega-pastor.