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Matisyahu: “I Support Peace And Compassion For All People”

Matisyahu has made a public statement regarding the actions of the Rototom Sunsplash reggae music festival:

https://www.facebook.com/matisyahu/posts/10153608853029189

“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”

I’ve been thinking a lot about this incident since I posted about it yesterday, trying to figure out why it bothers me so much more than other incidents in which either Israelis or Jews have been singled out. I wondered whether it was because I spent so much time as a teenager in alcohol-aided reggae trances, or because Matisyahu is an American.

Both of those are factors. I think, though, that the most troubling aspect of this incident, to me, is that Matisyahu appears to have been specifically targeted for having participated in an event whose purpose was to present the truth about Israel. That indicates that the activists who demanded that he be removed are so enmeshed in their ideology that they are not even willing to consider that there may be another side to the story. The mere assertion that they may be misinformed, is sufficient to warrant expulsion. That is mental slavery.

I hope that all people who are against discrimination will stand up for Matisyahu and tell the Rototom organizers to stick it where the Sunsplash don’t shine.

About the author

Picture of Mirabelle

Mirabelle

A Zionist in exile, Mirabelle has, in past lives, been a lawyer, a skier, and a chef. Outside of Israel, her favorite place in the world is Sun Valley, Idaho.
Picture of Mirabelle

Mirabelle

A Zionist in exile, Mirabelle has, in past lives, been a lawyer, a skier, and a chef. Outside of Israel, her favorite place in the world is Sun Valley, Idaho.
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