Nearly everyone you would expect to know already knows that the Jewish musician known as Matisyahu was invited to leave a music festival in the Spanish port city of Valencia. The organizers of Rototom, the 22nd European Reggae Festival kept pressuring him to make a political statement, the booted him when he refused to express support for the creation of a Palestinian Arab state.
There has been much speculation about exactly what happened and what was Matisyahu’s response.
Here is what Matisyahu said about it:
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
The musician pressed exactly the right point. “Were any of the other artists scheduled to perform asked to make political statements in order to perform?” No.
The Jews are treated differently.