Matisyahu Blasts Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival Cancellation
“The festival organizers contacted me because they were getting pressure from the BDS 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. Music has the power to transcend the intellect, ideas, and politics, and it can unite people in the process. 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”
There’s been no word from Festival organizers about whether or not other artists appearing at the Festival will also be asked to declare a loyalty oath to BDS. For instance, Barrington Levy who is performing on the main stage on August 18th has performed in Israel as has Lee “Scratch” Perry who is performing on the main stage on August 21st. And what about all the artists with Jewish management and musical collaborators? If I were BDS, I’d be all up in that trying to find out the hidden Zionists. Get on it yo!
This video is from a performance by Matisyahu 6 years ago in Jerusalem at the now defunct Avraham bar near the Machaneh Yehudah market on the night before Yom Kippur. Matisyahu was visiting for the High Holidays with his family. While in Israel he no doubt engaged in ethnic cleansing against Palestinians.