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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BDS organizers get sued by Lebanese businessman!

From Al Akhbar:
Lebanese anti-Israel activists are being sued by a concert promoter for their boycott campaign against a popular British rock group.

Samah Idriss, director of Dar al-Adab publishing house, received a court summons this Thursday from Beirut's commerce court. Idriss is implicated in a lawsuit for his involvement in a Lebanese boycott campaign against the British rock group Placebo last year. Jihad el-Murr, who heads the company that organized the event, filed the suit on 10 July 2011.

El-Murr is suing Idriss, as well as three other groups involved in the campaign: the Aidoun Refugee Rights Center, the Campaign to Boycott the Supporters of Israel in Lebanon, and the Global BDS Campaign in Lebanon. El-Murr, a self-described famous businessman from a prominent family, is demanding US$180,000 compensation for his company’s financial losses allegedly caused by the boycott campaign.

Lebanese activists called for the boycott in protest of Placebo's performance in Tel Aviv four days before their concert in Beirut, that was scheduled for 9 June 2010 at the Forum de Beirut. Only in July 2011, a year after the event took place, did el-Murr notice the ‘financial losses’ he claims were caused by the campaign. He called the campaign against cultural normalization with Israel both “malicious and deceptive.” El-Murr argues that the 1955 Lebanese law supporting a limited boycott of Israel does not apply to the Placebo concert. “The famous rock band does not even deal with politics,” he added.
El Murr described the boycotts as "ridiculous" last year.

Placebo played in Israel on June 5th, and they did play in Beirut on June 9


It does not appear that the boycott effort in Lebanon had any effect because the concert hall in Beirut looks pretty full to me:


Which is a win-win - the Lebanese roundly ignored the BDSers and the only way for the BDSers to counter the lawsuit would be for them to admit that their efforts were fruitless!

(h/t Dan)