Jerusalem, if I forget you…


Some good news from Spain, where the courts have finally started fighting anti-Semitism, which so often in Europe comes disguised as anti-Zionism:

A court in Spain’s southeastern Valencia province has admitted a criminal complaint against nine anti-Israel campaigners who targeted the Jewish-American singer Matisyahu after he agreed to perform at a local music festival in 2015, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.

Leaders of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign in Valencia and Catalonia reacted to news of Matisyahu’s scheduled appearance at the Rototom Sunsplash reggae festival, which is held annually in the town of Benicàssim, by using “pressure, coercion and threats” against the event organizers, according to a statement released by the festival. In response, the event organizers asked Matisyahu — the only Jewish performer in the line-up — to denounce Israel and express support for a Palestinian state. The singer refused, noting that he was the only artist being forced to make a political statement in order to perform, and canceled his appearance.

The concert’s organizers were harshly condemned by the media, Jewish organizations, and the Spanish government after their actions were publicized, leading Matisyahu to be re-invited. The singer ultimately chose to perform at the festival, saying that he “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,” Matisyahu later added on Facebook. “It is my deep conviction however that acceptance and the ability for rebirth allow us to move forward.”

Nine BDS activists face charges of incitement to hatred and discrimination over the incident, and could face jail time if convicted.

I find the whole BDS movement repellent, as it smacks of Hitler Youth picketing Jewish-owned shops to prevent good Aryans from conducting any business therein. The boycotters’ call for a Palestinian state is a very thinly disguised desire for no Jewish state at all.

What’s even worse in Matisyahu’s case is that he is not an Israeli resident but an American Jew.

I’ve been fond of Matisyahu (or Matthew Paul Miller for all of us goyim) ever since I heard his Hassidic reggae first album “Youth” and followed him ever since, even after he shaved his beard and locks. His work represents the best that music can be – a melange of sounds and influences that weaves beauty and power from many different strands from all corners of the world.

At the Rototom festival, Matisyahu played one of my favourite songs from his debut album, “Jerusalem”. As a FU to Matisyahu, many in the audience were waving dozens of huge Palestinian flags and giving him a finger.  “It was not peaceful… I’ve never had the experience of anything like that, as a Jew or anything in my life,” Matisyahu recounted afterwards.

Leftist politics truly have an uncanny power to wring the joy out of everything joyful in life.