Matisyahu had to endorse “Palestinian” statehood, which would be endorsing the creation of an internationally-sanctioned jihad base for renewed attacks against a diminished Israel, or not perform. And so for Rototom Sunsplash, it’s all out in the open: hate Israel, or go home. In 2013 it emerged that the key, but hidden, reason why Pamela Geller and I were banned from Britain was because we were supporters of Israel. British authorities tried to cover this up: our lawyers requested documents under the UK’s freedom of information law, and among the documents we received as an internal memo of the UK Home Office from one official to another (both names were redacted) directing that the material about our support from Israel be removed from our dossiers, so that people wouldn’t get the impression that we were being barred for supporting Israel. This was sufficient to indicate that our support for Israel did indeed play a large role in the decision to ban us, and that the British authorities knew how bad that would make them look, so they removed almost all the traces of it.
The Rototom Sunsplash organizers had no such compunction. They’re open about their support for the Nazi-like BDS movement. The way the world is going, they clearly don’t think they have to hide it.
“Spanish Concert Org. to Matisyahu: Publicize Your Politics on Palestine or Go Home,” by Jas Chana, Tablet, August 17, 2015 (thanks to Anne Crockett):
Matisyahu, a Jewish-American reggae musician, has been barred from performing at a Spanish music festival because he chose not to outline his position on Palestinian statehood. Matisyahu was booked to perform at the Rototom Sunsplash, a reggae music festival in Spain on August 22. However, according to Reuters, festival organizers heeded to local pressure to cancel his appearance as part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel. A statement released by the organizers read:
Rototom Sunsplash, after having repeatedly sought dialog in the face of the artist’s unavailability to give a clear statement against war and on the right of the Palestinian people to their own state, has decided to cancel the concert.
Today, Matisyahu posted a response to the controversy on his Facebook page. He said that the festival organizers wanted him “to write a letter, or make a video, stating my positions on Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to pacify the BDS people.” However, Matisyahu refused, on the basis that his music should exist separately from politics. He continued to claim that the organizers were singling him out because he was Jewish:
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
Valencia is reportedly a hotbed of BDS activity. According to Spanish paper El Pais, Matisyahu was branded a “Zionist” complicit in the practices of “apartheid and ethnic cleansing” by local activists. El Pais reported that the festival organizers asked Matisyahu to sign a statement officially endorsing Palestinian statehood.
According to Newsweek, The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain—an affiliate of the Spanish government—condemned the decision in a statement, describing it as “cowardly, unfair, and discriminatory.” They continued to say that it was “shameful” that taxpayer money funds a festival that endorses BDS….