Jewish-American celebrity Matisyahu bravely faced hostile anti-Israel agitators and performed his famous song about Jerusalem, the eternal Jewish capital, after a failed attempt by anti-Israel activists to ban his performance at a music festival in Spain.
After failing to have Jewish superstar Matisyahu banned from the Rototom Sunsplash music festival in Spain, anti-Israel activists attempted to disturb the performer’s concert on Saturday night by heckling him, waving Palestinian flags and chanting “out, out.”
Many others in the audience of some 20,000 applauded the musician.
“Whoever you are and wherever you come from, raise a flag and wave it in the air,” Matisyahu called to the crowd before his closing song, “Let music be your flag.”
Matisyahu did not buckle to pressure and passionately sang his song of yearning for Jerusalem, which includes verses from the Psalms of King David and lyrics pointing to the ancient Jewish longing for their eternal capital.
“Jerusalem, if I forget you, fire not gonna come from me tongue. Jerusalem, if I forget you, let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do,” the reggae singer belted out in response to the hostile crowd. “Three thousand years with no place to be, and they want me to give up my milk and honey.”
“Tonight was difficult but special,” Matisyahu later posted on Facebook.
“Fan the flame in the name of Judah from the line of King David!” he wrote together with a post of the clip on Twitter.
Matisyahu was initially banned from the festival following pressure from the Spanish city’s local BDS movement.
After condemnation by world Jewry, individuals and organizations, as well as harsh denunciation by the Spanish foreign ministry, Rototom rescheduled his performance and issued a public apology, conceding that they were threatened by BDS activists.
The reggae celebrity condemned the attempt to “coerce [him] into political statements,” saying that politics plays no part in his music.