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Defiant Matisyahu Sings ‘Jerusalem’ at Pro-BDS Festival in Spain

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Getty Images

Jewish singer Matisyahu defiantly sang his hit song Jerusalem at the Rototum SunSplash music festival in Spain on Sunday as several pro-Palestinian activists waved Palestinian flags and heckled him.

Matisyahu, 36, had just days ago been canceled from performing after he refused to send a message in support of a Palestinian state. He was swiftly re-invited to perform and the event organizers issued an apology.

“Tonight was difficult but special. Thank you to everyone who made it possible! Every chance to make music is a blessing,” Matisyahu wrote on his Facebook page following his performance.


Tonight was difficult but special. Thank you to everyone who made it possible! Every chance to make music is a blessing.

Posted by Matisyahu on Saturday, 22 August 2015

According to the Times of Israel, the group’s organizers issued a statement about the cancellation: “Rototom SunSplash admits that it made a mistake, due to… the campaign of pressure, coercion and threats employed by the BDS Pais Valencia which made it think that the normal functioning of the festival could be threatened.”

Matisyahu stated that he prides himself on his unique ability to unite people from all walks of life. According to the Times of Israel, he wrote “I have always believed in the power of music to unite all people, regardless of religion, politics or geography. This was an excruciating decision, as I felt that my core, essential being was being used as a pawn for political convenience.”

The entire brouhaha had taken place after an antisemitic and pro-Palestinian branch of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement called Matisyahu a “Zionist” and said that he supports the practice of “apartheid and ethnic cleansing” after he refused to answer whether he supported the concept of a Palestinian state. Israel is falsely labeled as an apartheid state by its enemies in an attempt to discredit the democratic nation.

Some of the lyrics from the song Jerusalem are:

Jerusalem, if I forget you,
let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do.

3,000 years with no place to be
And they want me to give up my milk and honey
Don’t you see, it’s not about the land or the sea
Not the country but the dwelling of his majesty

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.


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