The US reggae artist Matisyahu seems to have fairly unremarkable views on Israel and Palestine. He has expressed frustration at what he sees as an anti-Israel bias in the media. Like most, he hopes for peace in the region, as he explains here:
“The brotherly love of Esau and Yaakov, of Itzchak and Ishmael, will rise above all the disturbances,” he wrote, later adding, “A Prayer for my Sisters and Brothers in Israel, cousins and innocents on all sides.”
Here he sings ‘One Day’ [Peace for Gaza].
Matisyahu’s background is Chasidic, although his views on religion have shifted in recent years.
Recently a Spanish festival demanded that he express his support for Palestinian statehood and cancelled his show when he refused.
Festival organizers were driven by intense pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the reports said. Artists scheduled to perform at the event threatened to cancel their appearances if Matisyahu were to perform because he was “seen to represent Israel.”
The organizers gave Matisyahu an ultimatum, telling him if he would “sign such a declaration [publicly affirming his support for the Palestinians, he] can perform,” according to Spanish daily, El Pais (Spanish Link).
It’s outrageous that this musician seems to have been singled out for an ideological purity test because of his ethnicity/religion. For this reason I think he was completely right to refuse to sign the statement quite independent of whether or not he happened to be in agreement with it .
Hat Tip: Gidon Shaviv