In a shocking and purely anti-Semitic move, organizers of the Spanish Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival caved to anti-Israel boycott activists and forced Jewish singer Matisyahu to first clarify his position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – a requirement no other artist at the festival was asked to fulfill.
In what many have deemed an anti-Semitic act, the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival in Spain announced it was dropping Jewish reggae star Matisyahu from the program because he was unwilling to “clearly speak out against the [2014 Gaza] war and the right of Palestinians to have their own state.”
The Jewish reggae singer, who is not Israeli but has visited the country several times, wrote on Facebook that he found the festival’s organizers’ cancellation of his show “appalling and offensive.”
“The festival organizers contacted me because they were getting pressure from the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement. They wanted me to write a letter, or make a video, stating my positions on Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to pacify the BDS people. I support peace and compassion for all people. My music speaks for itself, and I do not insert politics into my music,” Matisyahu wrote.
He continued, “The festival kept insisting that I clarify my personal views; which felt like clear pressure to agree with the BDS political agenda. Honestly it was appalling and offensive, that as the one publicly Jewish-American artist scheduled for the festival they were trying to coerce me into political statements. Were any of the other artists scheduled to perform asked to make political statements in order to perform? No artist deserves to be put in such a situation simply to perform his or her art. Regardless of race, creed, country, cultural background, etc, my goal is to play music for all people. As musicians that is what we seek. – Blessed Love, Matis.”
“We always said that BDS was not connected to the Palestinian issue or the settlements, but was nothing more than Jew hatred,” Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said. “And this demonstrates that.”
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