For years we have been arguing that at most there is a thin line between the Israel hatred of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and hatred of Jews.

BDS was born at the anti-Semitic 2001 Durban conference, but was repackaged as a grassroots “civil society” movement in 2005, and now has duped many progressives into thinking BDS is just about Israel leaving the West Bank. Groups like Jewish Voice for Peace do BDS’s bidding is perpetuating this charade.

That thin line has all but disappeared in Europe, where BDS paves the was to anti-Semitism:

So it is, in a sense, no surprise to hear the outrageous news that American Jewish musician Matisyahu has been banned at a Spanish Reggae music festival due to pressure from the BDS movement after he failed to sign a statement recognizing a Palestinian state.

BDS has shifted from its practice of banning and attacking Israeli musicians, to Jewish musicians who fail to pledge allegiance to the BDS movement. It was a natural shift for the movement.

The Times of Israel reports:

Spanish music festival demanded Jewish-American reggae star Matisyahu endorse Palestinian statehood, and then canceled his upcoming show after the singer declined, Spanish media reported Saturday.

The Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival called off the formerly Hasidic rapper’s August 22 show, with organizers saying Matisyahu had refused to comply with their demand to pen a statement or a video message backing “the Palestinians’ right to a state.”

Festival organizers were driven by intense pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the reports said. Artists scheduled to perform at the event threatened to cancel their appearances if Matisyahu were to perform because he was “seen to represent Israel.”

The organizers gave Matisyahu an ultimatum, telling him if he would “sign such a declaration [publicly affirming his support for the Palestinians, he] can perform,” according to Spanish daily, El Pais (Spanish Link)….

Matisyahu, who was raised a Reconstructionist Jew in West Chester, Pennsylvania, joined the Chabad movement in 2001 and burst onto the music scene in 2004 as a bearded, beat-boxing, Hasidic star. In 2011, he parted ways with Orthodox Judaism, but continues to perform internationally and maintains that his music still draws inspiration from Jewish religious sources.

The Spanish newspaper linked above reports (via Google Translate):

The organization of the music festival reggae Rototom Sunsplash has decided to cancel the concert of American Hebrew singer Matisyahu at the 22nd edition of the event, as reported by the organization in a statement. The cancellation occurred after the Valencian country BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) a few days ago has started a campaign against the Jewish artist, who has been accused of “Zionist” and “justify a State practicing -Israel- the apartheid and ethnic cleansing, “as noted on his Facebook page.

After several days of pressure from the BDS for cancellation of -previsto concert on Saturday August 22 in the mainly responsible for the Rototom stage they have decided to cancel the action “against the unavailability of the artist when ruling clearly against war and the right of Palestinians to have their own state “, as has been pointed in the press, where they explained that the Jamaican artist Matisyahu Etana replace the Main Stage.

The Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival Facebook page has a lengthy explanation (via Google Translate) consistent with the news reports, including in part:

4. The Rototom Sunsplash, having repeatedly sought dialogue against the unavailability of the artist when a clear position against the war and the right of Palestinians to have their own state, has decided to cancel the Matisyahu concert scheduled for day August 22nd. Jamaican artist Etana will replace the Main Stage.

The official website confirms the same (via Google Translate):

(added) The Jewish Telegraph Agency, via i24 News, quotes the Spanish Jewish Federation that Matisyahu was the only one asked to sign the pledge:

… 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.

Jews now are subject to loyalty tests by BDS — loyalty that is to being anti-Israel.

BDS is a fascist, anti-Semitic, hateful movement. That it has so much traction among progressive faculty at U.S. campuses says as much about the intellectual emptiness of the progressive movement as it does about the hateful people who launched BDS at the Durban conference.

The good news is that Matisyahu’s Twitter Account lists many concerts around the world.

So far the BDS Spanish Inquisition stands apart.


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