Exclusive — Matisyahu Thanks Fans Who Defied Anti-Israel Protesters to Attend Shows

Matisyahu (Courtesy Matisyahu)
Courtesy Matisyahu

JERUSALEM, Israel — Reggae legend Matisyahu is praising the fans who had to endure taunts and abuse from anti-Israel protesters as they entered his shows on the “Hold the Fire” tour, which concluded in Israel earlier this month.

Matisyahu, who has been targeted by protests and boycotts because of his Jewish faith and his support for Israel, spoke to Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM Patriot 125 on Sunday evening’s special broadcast from Israel — just hours after the Israeli military intercepted a massive missile and drone attack from Iran.

As Breitbart News reported, Matisyahu had three shows canceled by host venues during his “Hold the Fire” tour. The artist who recorded the peace anthem “One Day” found himself, bizarrely, being accused of supporting genocide.

“We had protesters at almost every show across America,” Matisyahu said, noting that he had previously been targeted by the anti-Israel “boycott, divestment, sanctions” (BDS) movement, which tried (and failed) to stop him from performing in Spain in 2015.

He commended his fans on the Hold the Fire tour, who had to “walk through all that garbage before they got to the show, dealing with people yelling at them, spitting, calling them names.” He drew an analogy to the experience of the ancient Israelites passing through the ordeal of slavery in ancient Egypt.

He also discussed his new song, “Ascent,” which takes on antisemitism, and which Matisyahu wrote before October 7. The video for the song was shot in Israel, amid scenes of devastation in communities that were targeted by Hamas.

“Of course we have to have a vision of peace,” Matisyahu said. But “in order to have peace, we have to eliminate the evil that is trying to destroy us.” He emphasized that there was “no contradiction” between those two sentiments.

He made a point of concluding the “Hold the Fire” tour in Israel, even though it had also started in Israel, as a statement of solidarity and defiance against antisemitism. “We had to finish the tour in Israel,” he recalled.

Matisyahu noted that he drew inspiration from the Rastafarian influences in reggae, which in turn drew inspiration from Judaism. He explained that those Jewish influences came “full circle” in his music, especially those songs that address the challenges that Israel and the Jewish people face today.

He said that he was confident that Israel would be victorious, and that Jews would endure.

“We are a miraculous people, and Israel represents that to the utmost right now.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.