He’s right, this rips the mask off of the anti-Israel ankle biters.
The New Racists: Jew Hate
|Anti-Israel activists of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Spain demanded that the Rototom Sunsplash music festival cancel a performance by American reggae star Matisyahu, claiming that he is a supporter of “an apartheid state that practices ethnic cleansing.” Festival organizers cancelled Matisyahu’s performance.|
by Douglas Murray
If you had thought that the only qualification needed is to excel at your chosen art form and then see if you can gather audiences, you were wrong. That is not enough anymore — certainly not if you are Jewish.
- The treatment of the reggae star Matisyahu is something new. For Matisyahu is not an Israeli — he is an American. For a while, only Israeli Jews were made pariahs among the nations because of an unresolved border dispute involving their country. Now it is Jews born anywhere else in the world who can be targeted in the same way. They are singling out Jews — Jews and only Jews.
- Habima performers were insulted and vilified while on stage at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, trying to perform “The Merchant of Venice.” None of the protesters seemed to see the irony of vilifying Jews on stage during that of all plays.
- Spain has its own border issues. Perhaps Spanish performers should henceforth be quizzed about their political attitudes before they are allowed to perform abroad? Maybe the rest of the world should demand that all artists from Spain sign a statement or make a video supporting Catalan independence if they are to be allowed to perform in public?
Only one country and one geopolitical question is addressed in this way. Turkish artists are nowhere in the world asked to condemn their country’s illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus — an occupation, lasting more than four decades, of half an EU member state.
Their singling out of Jews, wherever they are from, makes their racist motivation abundantly clear. If the Rototom Sunsplash festival wants to take part in this racist BDS fever then it is them — and not Jews — whom the world must make into pariahs.
Are you a performer who wishes to appear in public at any point in the future? If so, you might have to bone up on geopolitical affairs — and then ensure that you have all the “correct” views. If you had thought that the only qualification you would need would be to excel at your chosen art form and then see if you can gather audiences, you were wrong. That is not enough anymore — certainly not if you are Jewish.
This week the news came in that a Spanish music festival had cancelled a planned performance by Matisyahu, an American reggae star. Matisyahu became famous as the “hassidic reggae star,” although he left Orthodox Judaism in 2011. He no longer has a beard of wears a skullcap, but he does remain proud of his Jewish identity. Next weekend, on August 22, he was due to perform at the Rototom Sunsplash festival in Benicassim, north of Valencia.
Unfortunately for anyone simply interested in music, a group of local Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists found out about Matisyahu’s upcoming performance. They claimed that Matisyahu is a supporter of “an apartheid state that practices ethnic cleansing,” and demanded that the festival cancel the performance.
Matisyahu is of course not the first Jew to suffer this type of pressure. In Europe, and increasingly in America too, any and all performers who come from Israel can be abused and vilified in the name of “progressive” values. In London, the Jerusalem String Quartet and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra have been the targets of attempts to cancel their performances. When the performances have gone ahead, they have had to suffer obscene and threatening performance interruptions by protesters. The same has happened to Israeli theatre companies such as Habima – whose performers were insulted and vilified while on stage at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, trying to perform “The Merchant of Venice.” None of the protesters seemed to see the irony of vilifying Jews on stage during that of all plays.
Jewish Israeli artists have become used to being targeted and vilified in this way. But the treatment of Matisyahu is something new. For Matisyahu is not an Israeli — he is an American. Yet after the intervention of the BDS protestors, the festival’s director tried what he presumably thought was a perfectly reasonable request: Filippo Giunta asked Matisyahu to produce a “signed statement or video” stating “in a very clear way” that he supported the creation of a Palestinian state. This was made a precondition of performing. “If you sign these conditions, you can continue the performance,” the festival’s director told the artist.