This is a cross-post by Richard Millett
[Update: the Festival organisers have now apologised and reinvited Matisyahu to perform]
It’s no shock to those knowledgeable about the behaviour of the racists active within the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement (BDS), which seeks the destruction of the Jewish state by demanding that Palestinians be allowed to move en masse to Israel, that they have now extended their racism from Israel’s Jews to non-Israeli Jews; basically Jews.
Matisyahu is an American Jewish reggae artist and although he used to be ultra-religious he isn’t anymore. He was due to appear in the Rototom Sunsplash music festival in Benicássim, Spain this coming Saturday until BDS activists pressurised the organisers in to demanding that he declare his support for the creation of a Palestinian state, which he could not bring himself to do and why should he being a musician not a politician? As a result he has now been banned from playing the festival.
Douglas Murray reminds us Spain has its own border issues and Turkey illegally occupies northern Cyprus yet no Spanish or Turkish artists are obliged to make political statements about these issues under threat of boycott.
Only a Jew is so targeted.
Unbelievably the festival organisers blamed Matisyahu of whom they declared:
“..to a simple (and legitimate) question about the war as an instrument to solve conflicts (of ALL wars), decided not to answer many times…if he would have done a gesture to show good faith, at least from ONE of the parties involved, to keep on believing this concert would have brought (and can still bring) something positive to this edition dedicated to Peace.”
And their cowardly conclusion was:
“We did not say NO to Matisyahu because he has hebrew roots or as a Zionist, but we just simply considered inappropriate organizing something that would certainly generate a conflict, without any possibility of dialogue.”
“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…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?”
Today’s El Pais editorial, which is headed “Unacceptable Discrimination”, concludes with these strong words:
“It is absolutely unacceptable that in the Spain of the 21st century, individuals and organizations can still demand that somebody explain themselves in ideological terms in order to be able to exercise their profession, and takes us back to the dark days when everybody was required to prove their religiosity and purity of blood.
Anti-Semitism and discrimination on the grounds of ideology cannot be tolerated and must be stood up to. Criticism of Israel’s policies and defense of the Palestinians cannot be used as cover for systematic persecution of those who hold different views, or because they are Jewish. Spain’s politicians need to speak out about this scandal that questions this country’s commitment to free speech and thought.”