Matisyahu was set to perform at the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival in Spain when something odd happened. Apparently, the event director, Filippo Giunta, asked the Jewish singer on Thursday to issue a “signing statement or video” that expressed in a “very clear” way that Palestinians are entitled to their own state. This was occasioned by other unnamed artists (cough, bullshit, cough) who threatened to not take the stage if Matisyahu was allowed to perform and by local BDS activists who accused Matisyahu of being a “Zionist” who supports the practice of “apartheid and ethnic cleansing.” There is no indication that any other artists were required issue such a signing statement. It seems as if the only reason Matisyahu was asked to do so was because he is Jewish and, like many Jews, he has visited Israel.
In the past, BDS activists have gone to great pains to insist that their movement has nothing against Jews. They point to token Jewish groups that support their purported aims. And yet here we see that BDS activists targeted Matisyahu solely because he is Jewish. There are no indications that any other artists performing at the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival were asked to issue a similar statement. We also know that while Matisyahu has visited Israel on several occasions, he is not a citizen nor is he particularly political. This precedent means that any Jewish artist, by mere dint of their Jewish identity, may be asked to swear a loyalty oath to Palestine or risk the wrath of the BDS shitheads. Now, it should be noted that there is a word that describes when you hold out Jews to standards that no one else has to meet and while I am loathe to use it, there is no better time to state that this incident and those that occasioned it have manifested text-book anti-Semitism. So yeah. Fuck you Filippo Giunta and fuck you Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival.
Matisyahu of course refused and this little incident has not affected any of the rest of his extensive European tour. Matisyahu’s latest album is Akeda and he will be spending the rest of 2015 touring in Europe and North America in places not under the control of douchebag, Jew hating “activistas.”