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New Zealand BDS activists raise $12k for Gaza after Israel fines them $12k

Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab said last week they would not pay the fine of 45,000 shekels ($12,416) awarded to three Israeli teenagers
New Zealand based BDS activists Justine Sachs [left] and Nadia Abu-Shanab [right] [Givealittle]
New Zealand based BDS activists Justine Sachs [left] and Nadia Abu-Shanab [right] [Givealittle]

Two New Zealand pro-Palestinian activists have raised NZ$17,576 ($11,435) as of Sunday for a Palestinian charity after being fined by an Israeli court for their alleged role in persuading pop star Lorde to cancel a concert in Tel Aviv last year.

Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab said last week they would not pay the fine of 45,000 shekels ($12,416) awarded to three Israeli teenagers, calling the court’s ruling a “stunt” intended to intimidate Israel’s critics.

Instead, they asked people to donate money through website givealittle.co.nz to the Gaza Mental Health Foundation, a volunteer group that raises funds for mental health and women’s empowerment groups in the Gaza Strip.

As of Sunday, they raised NZ$17,576, according to the website.

Read: Israel orders BDS activists to pay $12,000 damages over cancelled concert

“Given that we’ve actually had this kind of push upon us – we felt that it was expedient to actually recenter the issue back on Palestine,” Abu-Shanab told Radio New Zealand.

The case arose from an open letter that Sachs and Abu-Shanab wrote to Lorde, a New Zealander, on the website thespinoff.co.nz in December urging her to call off her planned concert.

Lorde cancelled her concert in Israel that same month after a campaign by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) group, which campaigns for Palestinian rights, that included the open letter published by Sachs and Abu-Shanab.

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