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August 19, 2015

After barring Matisyahu, Sunsplash Apology Cites BDS "Coercion," "Threats."


Make what you will of the apology by Rototom Sunsplash, organizers of the Spanish reggae festival that directed anti-Semitic demands at Jewish singer Matisyahu before ultimately barring him from performing.

Whether or not the apology is sincere or sufficient, at least one passage in their statement rings true:

Rototom Sunplash admits that it made a mistake, due to the boycott and the campaign of pressure, coercion and threats employed by the BDS País Valencià because it was perceived that the normal functioning of the festival could be threatened.

This description of coercion and threats matches similar accounts by artists who been prior targets of bullying at the hands of BDS extremists. As we've noted here in the past, Italian author Umberto Eco called their ideas "absolutely crazy" and "fundamentally racist"; Irish writer Gerard Donovan referred to them as "idiots" who try to bully and cajole and are guilty of "outright intimidation?; the band Dervish was intimidated by what it described as their “avalanche of negativity?, “venom? and "hatred"; and jazz musicians Erik Truffaz, Jack Terrasson and their manager Christophe Deghelt slammed the "sheer harassment" and "blatant denigration" at the hands of "intellectually dishonest" activists motivated by
"intolerance" and "pathological hatred."

Matisyahu criticized Sunsplash for singling him out, as a Jew, in order to "coerce" him into political statements. And they certainly deserve to be held accountable for their decision, however temporary, to join forces with the bigoted BDS activists. But considering BDS's well-documented history, there is no reason to doubt the organizers' account that they, too, were the subjects of "pressure, coercion and threats."

Posted by GI at August 19, 2015 09:56 AM


I am closely involved with traditional music in Spain both as a scholar and as a singer.I wrote immediately to Sunsplash protesting their cancellation of Matisyahu, and I wrote again congratulating them on their courage
Because even if their apology was artificial, they made it, for whatever good or bad reasons, and now on their facebook page they are receiving hundreds of spiteful, virulent, hate-filled messages. Actually, they now need our support, and efforts need to be directed to stop this sort of thing from happening again - in this case clear guidelines for festivals about the Slanish Constitution, for example. Another thing - have you seen the RTVE -,Spanish national radio - programme on "A LA carts" about Jews and satanic cults?

Posted by: Judith Cohen at August 20, 2015 12:07 PM

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