BENICÀSSIM, Spain (CelebrityAccess) — Matisyahu the orthodox Jewish rapper has issued a public response to a Spanish music festival that canceled his appearance due to to pressure from the anti-Israel Boycott, saying the cancellation was "appalling and offensive."
Matisyahu, whose real name is Matthew Miller, was set to perform at the Rototom Sunsplash festival on Aug. 22 but has been dropped from the lineup due to pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The festival, which began in 1994, has focused on social justice issues and has promoted a Palestinian state.
In a post on his Facebook page about the cancellation, Matisyahu wote:
"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.
"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." – Staff Writers