The lawsuit allegedly brought against two New Zealand-based activists after they penned an opinion piece calling on pop star Lorde to cancel a concert in Israel is apparently not real – according to the would-be defendants.

The article’s authors Nadia Abu-Shanab and Justine Sachs, are widely reported to have been sued this week under an Israeli law that allows claimants to file civil lawsuits against anyone calling for a boycott of Israel, if they know it could reasonably have triggered a boycott as a result of their action.

As such, the supposed lawsuit seeks $13,000 in damages by way of “moral and emotional injury” for three people who had been scheduled to attend the gig before it was cancelled, according to the Associated Press.

LordeLorde performing at Glastonbury in 2017

However, in a new post published via Medium, Abu-Shanab and Sachs say they “have not received any summons or other formal notice” and have described the reported lawsuit as a “hoax”.

Shurat HaDin, the Israeli law center that filed the suit according to the original reports, is doing so to illustrate the “real consequences” of culturally boycotting Israel.

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Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the Shurat HaDin lawyer who is representing the plaintiffs, said: “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.”

However, celebrity advocates for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement argue that a cultural blockade of Israel is a non-violent protest that promotes Palestinian rights.

Artists such as Brian Eno, Roger Waters and Kathleen Hanna praised Lorde for her decision in December to cancel her gig, and have criticised others such as Radiohead for ignoring the movement.

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