A cancelled concert and a mixed marriage highlight Israel’s touchiness

A cancelled concert and a mixed marriage highlight Israel’s touchiness October 20, 2018

Following a recent decision by an Israeli court to fine two New Zealand women NZ$18,000 ($11,700) for the role they played in the cancellation of a Lorde concert comes news that a marriage between a Jew and a Palestinian has been described as harmful to Israel by a lawmaker.

First, the concert kerfuffle. New Zealanders Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab, above, wrote to the pop star last year, urging her to cancel a concert in Tel Aviv. As a result, Lorde pulled out.

A court found the two damaged the “artistic welfare” of three Israeli teenagers who lodged a complaint, and that the cancellation perpetrated:

Damage to their good name as Israelis and Jews.

The court ruling is believed to be the first effective use of a 2011 Israeli law allowing civil lawsuits of anyone who encourages a boycott of Israel.

Sachs and Abu-Shanab said in the hours following the ruling they were inundated with offers of financial assistance from around the world, intended to help the two young women pay the fine.

But they said they have no intention coughing up the dosh, and have been advised by legal experts there is little chance of Israel having the recourse to force them to pay damages to the three plaintiffs because they were not in Israel when they penned the letter and did not participate in the court case in any way.

The money raised through crowdfunding – almost $40,000 – will go instead to a Gaza charity.

Palestinian-Israeli news anchor Lucy Aharish and Jewish actor Tsahi Halevi [Twitter]
The mixed marriage row erupted after Palestinian-Israeli news anchor Lucy Aharish was  accused of seeking to “harm” Israel after marrying her partner of four years Jewish actor Tsahi Halevi this week.

“We Are Signing a Peace Accord,” the couple joked on their wedding invitation, quoted by the Israel Hayom newspaper.

This sent Likud Member of the Knesset Oren Hazan into hysterics. Calling for a halt to Jewish assimilation, he said:

I don’t blame Lucy Aharish for seducing a Jewish soul with the goal of harming our country and for preventing more Jewish progeny from continuing the Jewish dynasty, on the contrary, she is welcome to convert.

The marriage was also slammed by Arye Deri, above, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who serves as Israeli Interior Minister, a role that oversees the country’s population registry.

It’s their own private affair. But, as a Jew, I have to tell you that I’m against such things because we must preserve the Jewish people. [Their] children will grow up, go to school and later want to get married, and then they’ll face difficult problems.

Halevi, an Arabic-fluent Jewish actor, is a former undercover commando in the Palestinian territories – a role he re-enacted for the hit Netflix series Fauda.

Palestinian Aharish is notable for being the first Arab Muslim news presenter on mainstream Hebrew-language Israeli television. She had complained, in media interviews, of suffering discrimination in Israel as well as pressure from her family over the prospect of her marrying outside of Islam.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn (mixed marriage report).

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  • zenlike

    A country that suppresses free speech in such a manner and has genuine nazis in the government should be boycotted. Come at me, Israeli courts.

  • Jack Baynes, Sandwichmaker

    Will Free Market Capitalists stand up against Israel for the right to choose when or where you do business?

  • Anne Fenwick

    [Their] children will grow up, go to school and later want to get married, and then they’ll face difficult problems.

    That’s shorthand for ‘we’re going to do everything we can to make your mixed heritage children wish they’d never been born’. It should be a familiar argument to Americans, it was much used in support of anti-miscegenation laws.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Same BS being used against LGBT kids. They have such miserable lives and wind up killing themselves. And just to be sure, I won’t let them PEE while in school. And too fucking bad if they get the shit kicked out of them. And hey, all those kid yelling ‘fag!’ ‘queer’ ‘evil’ are just doing free speech. etc etc etc puke.

  • Graeme Henderson

    If Hitler had only thought to outlaw anyone saying anything bad about Germans we would not have this problem now.

  • Jim Baerg

    The most important thing I want to know about the government of a country is: Is it safe for a resident of the country to say that the leader is an incompetent ass or that that leading political or religious ideology is a load of BS.
    Israel has had a better record on that than its neighbors, but these actions are damaging that record.