Monday, 17 August 2015
Matisyahu is victim of BDS antisemitism, say Spanish Jews
By Jessica Weinstein, August 17, 2015
Spanish Reggae festival Rototom has droppedJewish musician Matisyahu from its line-up after he refused a request to publicly back a Palestinian state.
The ex-Chasid was given an ultimatum by the festival organisers, who told him the if he “sign[ed] such a declaration [publicly affirming his support for the Palestinians, he] can perform,” according to Spanish daily El Pais.
The request came as a result of pressure from the BDS movement and other artists scheduled to perform at the festival , who said that Matisyahu was “seen to represent Israel”, even though he is not Israeli.
The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain said that the cancellation was "cowardly, unfair and discriminatory".
It added: “As Spaniards, we are ashamed of the organisers. In this case, the BDS Movement employed all its antisemitic arsenal against the participation of Matthew Paul Miller [Matisyahu’s offstage name].”
In a statement on Rototom’s official Facebook page, festival organisers said that the event had a “sensitivity to Palestine, its people and the occupation of its land by Israel”.
Five other artists due to appear at the festival have backed out because of the BDS campaign, according to El Pais.