Monday, August 17, 2015

American Jewish singer Matisyahu disinvited from Spanish music festival 

Matisyahu, an American Jewish reggae singer, was disinvited from a music festival in Spain because he would not publicly endorse Palestinian statehood, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported Sunday.
The famous singer was supposed to perform close to Barcelona at the Rototom Sunsplash festival in Benicassim. However, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain said that his show was cancelled after he did not agree to release a statement supporting a Palestinian state. The Federation called this incident "anti-Semitic cowardice."
The report said that the organizers of the event had felt pressured to disinvite Matisyahu by anti-Israel activists who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
"As Spaniards, we are ashamed of the organizers," The Federation's statement said.
"In this case, the BDS movement employed all its anti-Semitic arsenal against the participation on Matthew Paul Miller," it continued, using the singer's full name.
According to the Federation, because he is Jewish, Matisyahu was the only one of the performers who was asked to say that he supports a Palestinian state. The singer used to be Hasidic (a branch of Orthodox Judaism).
"Such acts violate fundamental human rights guaranteed by our constitution," the statement by the Federation added.
Other performers said they would cancel unless Matisyahu made the declaration, reported the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Matisyahu is not a citizen of the State of Israel.
On Saturday, the festival's Facebook website mentioned its "sensitivity to Palestine, its people and the occupation of its territory by Israel."

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