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August 19, 2015 1:11 pm

Wall Street Journal: Matisyahu Debacle Highlights ‘Anti-Jewish Bigotry’ of BDS in Europe

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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BDS activists. Photo: Mohamed Ouda via Wikimedia Commons.

BDS activists. Photo: Mohamed Ouda via Wikimedia Commons.

The recent fiasco surrounding a Spanish reggae’s festival’s ban on Jewish-American reggae star Matisyahu underlines concerns that the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) has overreached its purported goal of promoting Palestinian rights and become a front for “anti-Jewish bigotry,” the Wall Street Journal declared in an editorial on Wednesday.

Extending its criticism beyond the Rototom Sunsplash festival itself, which re-invited Matisyahu to perform at the festival next week after its ban spurred outrage among Jewish communities worldwide, as well as the local Valencia government and Madrid, the Wall Street Journal editorial staff said the incident highlighted the “connection between singling out the world’s sole Jewish state for opprobrium and the explosion of” antisemitic sentiment in Europe.

After all, Jamaican artists Micah Shemaiah and Andrae Jay Sutherland were not required to issue public statements concerning violence against the LGBT community in their country, neither was Sudanese journalist and festival presenter Sami al-Hajj demanded to address Khartoum’s myriad human rights abuses.

“Remember the Matisyahu affair the next time proponents of the anti-Israel boycott, divest and sanction movement insist their aim is to promote Palestinian rights, not anti-Jewish bigotry,” they wrote.


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  • Jo Co

    Even you can’t tell the difference between nationality and religion and conflate the two. Both examples you give to try and prove your point relate to other performers and THEIR respective countries. So is Israel also Matisyahu’s own country as well? You really should have stated “was Sami al-Hajj asked to support the right of South Sudanese to their Christian state, or the Serbs to their state, etc, etc?” You have basically implied that Matisyhau and all Jews do in fact represent Israel. Now we know where this so called “anti-Jewish” bigotry comes from: Jews thinking they are Israelis. Shame on you. Think a little harder next time.

  • Markus Elkana Brajtman

    Can anybody say what is the cause of Jew hatred?
    What have Jews done to others to be the “hated of the world”?

    Is it jealousy of the Jewish brain, and success in medicne, technology, etc which no other people have ever matched?
    Ask any Jew hater, “why do you hate Jews”? he will say because he doesnot like Jews, but he cannot give an honest answer.
    So, hate the Jews, so that they can hate someone.

    The lies spread about Jews being so evil. Killing Christian children so that they can use the blood to make mazah,
    Jews own all the banks.
    Jews own all the media. What a joke. It is the media which has spread Jew hatred.

    Jews run the governments of the world

    Yet, they cannot prove this hatred and those comments. It is born in their blood, and they are grown up with the hated of Jews, The education in the schools, and the churches
    The lie that Jews killed Jesus has been one of the root causes. But there has never been any proof that the Jews killed Jesus. Jews never crucified anyone. It was the church which spread this lie
    How many years after the death of Jesus did the lie start?
    There were no tape recorders ot stnographers those days.
    So, “lets find a way to spread the lie” Remember Nazi Minister of propaganda, ‘THE BIGGER THE LIE, THE MORE OFTEN TOLD, THE MORE THE WORLD WILL BELIEVE IT”

    • Paddy

      Well said! I wish I had your eloquence,but being a Cristian a lot of my education involved being told that the Jews killed Christ and for that sin they will never have their own homeland,but are doomed to wander the world, rootless and despised. It is very true that people of all types (some Jews too) hate Jews. I’ve never understood why,or agreed with the prejudice – every Jew I’ve ever known was decent,polite and talented. Long live Israel and may peace come to it in my lifetime.

  • Robert Davis

    One more proof arabs would do just anything to grab jews’ land! The “poor palestinians’ plight” spending not billions but trillions by now to grab Israel’s land is simply a…joke and a mystification. arabs want jews’ land and negociations cannot change that, the only thing that could force a change on them is after they are expelled. Thereafter they will resign to see the jews in Palestine not before. Israeli lefters are the dumbest on earth.

  • Al Talena

    Why the surprise? BDS was started by and is but an extension of the palistinian taqiyyah to destroy Israel through economic means. palistinians make no deference in their school curriculum incitement between Israel & Jews. The hamASS chsrter calles for the killing of Jews; so why expect them to make a difference when promoting BDS in Europe.

  • Elle

    Matisyahu should perform. Living well-and fully-is the best revenge.

  • Jack Holan

    Why doesn’t President Obama make a STRONG statement against BDS and New Israel Fund who funds in part BDS. President Obama has invited New Israel Fund to past conferences to get “ideas” to resolve Mid-East problems from “Mainstream” Jewish Organizations. New Israel Fund coupled with BDS is anything but Israel and now demonstrated Jewish friendly to achieve their goals. The President would be well advised to check out groups before picking them as friends.

    • Robert Davis

      Israel’s enemies are obamination’s friends. zero does not know what to do next to destroy Israel, any suggestion is welcome…

  • Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz

    Why is anyone surprised that the boycotters are anti-Semitic? Doesn’t anyone remember the deceased radical Reform Rabbi Balfour Bricker at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with all the rich Reform Jews in rent controlled apartments screaming about Jewish ORTHODOX landlords keeping the working class from getting affordable apartments at Community Board 4 and 7 meetings? Doesn’t anybody remember before the “FREE PALESTINE JEWS” at Brandeis there were Jews supporting Castro, the Sandanists, and now the Chavez people WHO STOLE JEWISH PROPERTY, HARASSED JEWISH SCHOOLS and SYNAGOGUES, and forced Jews to emigrate? The fact is the “Boycotters” have gotten where they are because our fellow Jews DO NOT FIGHT and ARE SHOWING THE STOCKHOLM SYNDROME ON STEROIDS! Whether you like or don’t like Prime Minister Netanyaho or Israeli West Bank or Gaza policies, THE CRITICS ARE ALL JEW HATERS, INCLUDING THE JEWISH ONES! PERIOD!

    • Robert Davis

      I agree with you. In fact I call Netanyahu the new bevin and his govt. the new colonial office. How can one hope others will support Israel apart from zyonists like us if the israeli govt. does not support Israel? How can anyone support Israel’s sovereignty over Western Palestine when the Israeli govt. does not?

  • Those of us who are still in life and are Shoah survivors need to speak out….even now. We do understand history, and what happened to our people under the scourge of the Nazis, and those of us who have survived have learned important lessons: If someone says they want to “kill” you, believe them….it is not
    just rhetoric.
    I was 4 years old when Hitler “marched” into Belgium, and I will not live forever….There are others, who lived this horror’ If you are able speak out and tell your story, why some of our children choose to live in Israel, or anywhere else, they have the option of that choice.

    When Iran stops SCREAMING “KILL THE JEWS, and incite the Palestinian peoples to do the same….then a genuine peace cannot a lasting peace

    I personally, have chosen to live in the U.S. as a Jewish American….I am proud of my heritage, and I am proud of my country….The States. I love my heritage, and I love my country.

    • Robert Davis

      Believe them is not enough, one should also attack them and not be afraid to support Israel which you do not seem to do really. You think mainly to yourself.

  • Carol Mizrahi

    So the Rototom Music Festival quickly followed the request of the BDS anti-Semites… UNTIL public outrage from many quarters rained down on them, and they retracted their retraction. If angry groups and individuals had not confronted the music festival, Matisyahu would not have been “reinvited.”

    And this from a country whose Government only recently put out a welcoming hand to all the descendants of those Jews expelled by Spain during the inquisition!

    My reaction: once bitten, twice shy. Thanks but no thanks, Spain.

    • Robert Davis

      It is the same scenario as in france : on the one hand the govt. plays lip service to jews and on the other it keeps Israel bashing what with palestinism, threats, “parliament recognition of the martians” and other crap of no political or legal value except to provoke antisemitism and a ww3 which will be the 3rd by socialists. european socialists are scum.

  • Ephraim

    Europe has spent the better part of two millenia wallowing in the filth of Jew hatred. It never died, it was merely driven underground. Now they have an excuse for it, and BDS is one of many expressions of this ancient bigotry and hatred. I cannot think of a single country in Europe, including the long-time tolerant Dutch, that has not reverted to its age old Jew hatred. Thanks to an antisemite in the White House, it is also blooming like kudzu in many places in the US as well, as proven by the blatant antisemitism used to bully opponents of Obama’s ‘precious deal.’ Israel is the excuse, Jew hatred is the cause.

  • dante

    I lived in madrid for a year and I can tell you that, without a trace of embarrassment or unease about spain’s persecution, murder, plunder, expulsion of the Jews, I often heard grad students condemning Israel and, not infrequently, the Jews or the Zionists (the names are used almost interchangeably), for “their crimes.” these morons would say idiotic things like “the Jews are worse than the nazis.” one sees, in the newspapers and online, ugly anti-Jewish caricatures that are pulled from ancient religious and racist hatreds and prejudices.

    and, here’s the beauty part: the haters think of themselves as enlightened, noble, sophisticated, courageous souls (because they, like most of their peers, hate the Jews – that’s real courage, right?) operating at uncommonly elevated levels of consciousness. it would be comic if there were not so much at stake (intended).

    • Robert Davis

      They are cowards who do not admit fighting 100 to 1 is cowardice and try to glorify it! I Wonder what they will call 1 m. cowards to… 1 nuke or 20 m.spaniards to…20 nukes? that is what socialists are preparing.

  • Jack Koplowitz

    Where is the NY times in reporting this story!

  • Hopefully Matisyahu will not go back to this festival in Spain.
    Their “excuses” are just an exercise in damage limitation to their image.
    They don’t care about Matisyahu at all.

    If Matisyhu decides to go back and perform he will risk fierce attacks from the same antisemites that have now been dropped by the management like a hot potato, for evident and self-serving reasons.
    The risk is absolutely NOT WORTH IT. Let them choke in their hatred.

    Am Israel khai vekayam!!