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August 23, 2015 12:17 am

Faced With Sea of Palestinian Flags at Spanish Reggae Festival, Matisyahu Belts Out ‘Jerusalem’ (VIDEO)

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Matisyahu faces a sea of Palestinian flags. Photo: Screenshot.

Matisyahu faces a sea of Palestinian flags. Photo: Screenshot.

After failing in an attempt to have Jewish-American singer Matisyahu banned from a Spanish music festival, the BDS bigots had yet another trick to unveil as the star ascended to the stage on Saturday night.

Not to be cowed however, it was the spirited Matisyahu who had the last laugh.

Far from boycotting the reggae artist’s gig, the “hate Israel” crowd showed up en masse. And they came bearing flags, immense Palestinian flags, which they waved with gusto from every corner of the 20,000-strong crowd.

As Matisyahu took the mike and looked out to the audience, he was presented with an unmistakably hostile message. It was clear that those who sought to have him banished stood before him in protest. Then the catcalls started, with some chanting, “out, out.” It might easily have been unnerving, disorienting.

But then he began to sing about Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem, if I forget you, fire not gonna come from me tongue. Jerusalem, if I forget you, let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do.”

And then, as he bounced and twirled around the stage, the most defiant lyrics of all: “3, 000 years with no place to be, and they want me to give up my milk and honey.”

“Tonight was difficult but special,” he later posted on Facebook, along with a clip of the performance.

What courage. Not to be intimidated when the concert organizers demanded he pacify the BDSers, and then to return to the festival’s schedule in defiance of the opposition, and chant Jerusalem on stage with such gusto.

What courage.

Now if only life would start to imitate art.

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  • Jon

    Great performance, I loved the rebuild the temple lyrics being thrown in their face. I wonder if he sang One Day and if so how people reacted.

    • No one who hate Israel will win! All of them so low! T
      We get only stronger and never give up! they cannot be like us. God is on our side not on the enemy of Jewish people! Matisyahu our pride and his courage to stand up was a honor. Bless you Matisyahu! Thank you

  • Eric Goldman

    Compelling performance. I’m sorry I had to learn about it from an article rife with unnecessary bias and inflammatory rhetoric.

  • Moneytruck

    Peter Tosh (a REAL Reggae Artist as opposed to this faux one) sang on his Mama Africa Album that Palestine must be liberated from “APARTHEID”….thus kinda dooming his career and popularity with the industry.
    Palestine is a Native Reservation of Pain, and the new European settlers there are doing EXACTLY the same thing that European settlers did here in the USA to the Natives here.
    Black Reggae Music is the ONLY Reggae Music.
    This guy ‘sings’ like someone has removed his spine.
    Black Reggae sells well in Israel.
    Israeli Reggae dont sell at ALL in Jamaica.

    • len

      Moneystruck-As usual Ignoramuses such as yourself have a lot to say in this matter but just know how to repeat the Bolshevik-Islamic Party line.Frankly you can take your Reggae opinions and put it up your A**.Talk to all the North African, Middle Eastern , Sephardic and Ehtiopian Jews who returned to their homeland-ISRAEL-ask them if they consider themselves European Settlers!As for all the European Settlers in the USA I seem to see a hell of a lot of Jamaicans walking the streets here in the good ole USA legal and illegal and guess what you aint getting them to come home anytime soon!So don’t look elsewhere except in your own house to fix the problems and when you get that fixed BRO we can talk about worldly matters!

      • Afsaneh

        Well said.

  • Jack

    Eventually life always imitates art because art always imitates life.
    I guess I am saying have patience.

  • Tod Zuckerman

    I am not a hip hop or reggae fan, but I need to broadenn my musical interests to make room for this Jewish hero : he is an anti-Jon Stewart/Natalie Portman. He proves that not all diaspora Jews are cowards ( I hope Howard Schultz of Starbucks takes heed).

    • A Semi Luddite

      Agreed! This took guts! Jon Stewart and Natalie Portman should take a lesson from him!

  • Leia Sokolov

    One word: Thrilling. The idiot BDSers are revealed as racists, nothing more.

  • carol burstein

    We should start calling the BDS movement :

    bullying disgusting slop movement

  • Mireille Mechoullam

    We need more Jews to be proud of their Judaism. Maybe “J Street” who say is pro-Israel would learn from Matisyahu to have the same high moral.

  • Lee Ann

    While most of the talk and hostilities focus on the land and a peoples’ right to it, I love how Matisyahu’s lyrics get to the real center – who is God and not man, “…it’s not about the land or the sea, not the country but the dwelling of His majesty…”

  • Marilyn Z. Fine

    Great to see Mattisyahu emulate his namesake, the father of the Maccabees, who stood up to the opposing hoards.

  • Derek Brown

    Matisyahu, you are an amazing Yehudi, and you stood up for your people against such hostility. May you live to 120 years.thank you. The ignorant probably did not even understand the message of what you were singing.

  • E benAbuya

    Yasher Ko’ach Matisyahu!
    Double compound BDSFail! The wankers bought tickets to listen to him sing “Jerusalem” while they waved Moroccan Occupied Western Sahara flag []

  • Neri

    Does anyone still think that it is about the Palestinian. ….when so blindly antisemitic. ….If asked you’ll realize that most palastinian rather live under Israel rule as under Arab rule just support radicalism. …look around and tell me I’m wrong


    Israel Gods land Gods people.

  • Nancy W

    BLESS this awesome reggae artist as he did not bow down to the wicked & ignorant ones, but held his head high as a proud son of our Most High God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! This is a reggae festival, not a political forum for other’s hate agendas! There shouldn’t have been any flags allowed at the concert. Shame on the organizers for even allowing this to go on! Leave politics out of this & just enjoy the music… enjoy the love! Being a Canadian, I’ve never heard of this Israeli reggae artist & I love reggae! I will now seek out to buy his music and also ask the promoters of our International Reggae Festival that just finished in Montreal, Canada, to have this artist come & perform next year! Also, Reggae Sunplash in Jamaica & other Reggae Festivals in other cities around the world should also invite him to perform…just to show the world that we will not tolerate hate & racism

  • Robert Davis

    Congratulations to Matisyahu, this is the right attitude to show jew haters they have no chance to prevail. If the Israeli government had the tenth part of his courage and claimed sovereignty over Western Palestine and expelled the fake “palestinian” mystificators to show antisemites they will never prevail, the conflict would be over since a long time and the world would show respect towards Israel instead of the despise the Israeli public and their government deserve for their cowardice.

  • Dr Ronald Cohen

    Simply swelling with pride at this Jewish youngster proudly standing up to the bigots, the hypocrites, the anti-Semites, the anti-Zionists who in a previous era, would have us marching through arches with names such as Arbeit Mach Frei.

  • Ron Georgalis

    Cheers to you, Matisyahu!

  • martin

    What preventd as equal or greater number of supporters waving an Israeli flag?

    To avoid a confrontation is not acceptable. A confrontation should have been intentionally engaged. That way it becomes understandable and equitable.

    • Shoshana Bryen

      There was no need for confrontation in the audience. Mattisyahu confronted ignorance and evil from the stage – he was classy and powerful; that’s what we need from Jews against BDS and against our other enemies.

    • nancy Williams

      SHALOM SHALOM shalom!! NO CONFRONTATION … because our God, the only one true God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob is a GOD of LOVE!! Their god is a god of HATE. Is not LOVE the greatest commandment? Our Adonai Eloheinu is GREATER, AWESOME & HOLY/KHODESH! So, we do not lower ourselves to their level of HATRED or they WIN, evil wins. Barooch HaShem! Love conquers all & they just make themselves look like fools! Hold your head high, blessed Jewish nation of Zion, apple of Adonai’s eye…no greater LOVE! Refresh your heart in Deutronomy 28:1-14, Psalm 91 & The Aaronic Blessing over us! Shalom…. O:-)

  • Did us all proud. Wonderful

  • Lynn

    I’ve been following what’s going on. Good for you in every way!

    Tivon, Israel

  • Gerd Kaluski

    I am proud of the way Matisyahu peformed Jerusalem and put the deadbeat BDS Biigots in their place. I imagine that most people who heard Matisyahu’s performance feel the same as I.
    Gerd Kaluski

  • Shalom-Hillel

    Sounded like a good amount of applause at the end.

    Here are the lyrics:

    Jerusalem, if I forget you,
    fire not gonna come from me tongue.
    Jerusalem, if I forget you,
    let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do.

    In the ancient days, we will return with no delay
    Picking up the bounty and the spoils on our way
    We’ve been traveling from state to state
    And them don’t understand what they say
    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

    Rebuild the temple and the crown of glory
    Years gone by, about sixty
    Burn in the oven in this century
    And the gas tried to choke, but it couldn’t choke me
    I will not lie down, I will not fall asleep
    They come overseas, yes they’re trying to be free
    Erase the demons out of our memory
    Change your name and your identity
    Afraid of the truth and our dark history
    Why is everybody always chasing we
    Cut off the roots of your family tree
    Don’t you know that’s not the way to be

    Rebuild the temple and the crown of glory
    Years gone by, about sixty
    Burn in the oven in this century
    And the gas tried to choke, but it couldn’t choke me
    I will not lie down, I will not fall asleep
    They come overseas, yes they’re trying to be free
    Erase the demons out of our memory
    Change your name and your identity
    Afraid of the truth and our dark history
    Why is everybody always chasing we
    Cut off the roots of your family tree
    Don’t you know that’s not the way to be

    Caught up in these ways, and the worlds gone craze
    Don’t you know it’s just a phase
    Case of the Simon says
    If I forget the truth then my words won’t penetrate
    Babylon burning in the place, can’t see through the haze
    Chop down all of them dirty ways,
    That’s the price that you pay for selling lies to the youth
    No way, not ok, oh no way, not ok, hey
    Aint no one gonna break my stride
    Aint no one gonna pull me down
    Oh no, I got to keep on moving
    Stay alive

    Rebuild the temple and the crown of glory
    Years gone by, about sixty
    Burn in the oven in this century
    And the gas tried to choke, but it couldn’t choke me
    I will not lie down, I will not fall asleep
    They come overseas, yes they’re trying to be free
    Erase the demons out of our memory
    Change your name and your identity
    Afraid of the truth and our dark history
    Why is everybody always chasing we
    Cut off the roots of your family tree
    Don’t you know that’s not the way to be

    • Cindy

      Thank you!!!!

  • Ezra

    Kol Hakavod to Matisyahu not to mention thanks for his courage and bravery. He is my
    my newly found hero. Thanks for your perseverence in the line of fire!

  • Kenneth Ossip

    Truth is stranger than fiction. Where did those flags come from? They are from the flag of the Arab Revolt from WWI. Arabs are a nationality. Palestine was only a name given to a location.

    Why are the flags of the Ba’ath Party, Jordan, P.A., the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Arab Revolt nearly the same, and in some cases the same?

    The answer goes back to World War I. Upon British diplomat Sir Mark Sykes’ instigation, but not completely according to his wishes, the Arab Bureau was created. It was Sykes and his fellows in this group who revived ancient Greek and Roman names for Middle Eastern regions. Such terms in common use today include “Syria”, “Palestine”, “Iraq” and “Mesopotamia”. He also designed the Flag of the Arab Revolt, a combination of green, red, black and white. Variations on his design are today the flags of Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Kuwait, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and the P.L.O which did not exist as nationalities before the First World War.

    The flag was designed by the British diplomat Sir Mark Sykes, in an effort to create a feeling of “Arab-ness” in order to fuel the revolt. Although the Arab Revolt (1916-1918) was only very limited in scope and concerted by the British rather than by Arabs themselves, the flag influenced the national flags of a number of emerging Arab states after World War I. Flags inspired by that of the Arab revolt include those of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, the Palestinian national movement (also used by the PLO and by the Palestinian Authority), Somaliland, theSahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Libya.

    The horizontal colors stand for the Abbasid (black), Umayyad (white) and Fatimid (green) Caliphates. The red triangle refers to the Hashemite dynasty.

    The Hashemites were allies of the British in the conflict against the Ottoman Empire. After the war ended, the Hashemites achieved or were granted rule in the Hejaz region of Arabia, Jordan, formally known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, briefly in Greater Syria, and Iraq.

    Greater Syria was dissolved after only a few months existence, in 1920. The Hashemites were overthrown in the Hejaz in 1925 by the House of Saud, and in Iraq in 1958 by a coup d’etat, but retained power in Jordan.

  • nelson marans

    Certainly the government of Spain is two-faced when it invites the descendants of Jews driven out by the Inquisition to become Spanish citizens while pursuing an anti-Israel agenda both governmentally and publicly.

  • snappir

    this reporter doesn’t care to remind the first reason for this wave of protests.
    It was his so called “song” by provocative name of “zionism”.
    Suddenly he decided to change the name to “jerusalem”, hoping the problem is fixed ?!
    Next his “song” he will call maybe “antisemitism”, then “racism”…?
    There is no place for politics in music. He was boycotted and protested very rightfully.
    And he is not a musician, but a charlatan.

    • Judah Ben Zion

      According to you, “snappir”, Jewish self-determination, ie Zionism, is “provocative”.

      This is just another pitiful excuse for good, old fashioned, Judeophobia or antisemitism.

      The Jewish people had their own state or country in 1000 BCE from the time of King David until the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The Jewish people had their state or country again, following the return from Babylon and until the year 70 CE when the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Palestine is the made-up name the Romans gave to Judea (where the name Jew comes from) and Samaria. It is a “fake” name and the word Palestinian is a derogatory word for Jew. To call an Arab a Palestinian was an insult as the British found out when they tried to enlist the Arabs during WW1.

      The ONLY people to have had a country in this area are the Jewish people. The Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Arabs, Marmeluks, the Ottoman Empire and the British were ALL FOREIGN COLONIALISTS. The indigenous people are the Jews who were exiled and murdered by all who came to this area. Palestine does not exist. Judea and Samaria are the correct geographical entities.

      If you find that to be provocative, get over it! The Jewsish people are not going anywhere.

      • Reform School

        Thank you for a brief but accurate history lesson. Suppressing the Arab Peoples’ few accomplishments, Islam—the Warrior Prophet’s ‘Religion of War’— has not served its [mostly-forced] converts well. Only conquered Jewish and Christian scholars could transfer their illiterate masters’ Suras to written Quran and Hadith, essentially outliving those whose occupations were never noted for great longevity.

    • Uncle sam

      How ironic that a reggae festival wants to ban the Jew! The Rasta are descendents of the Ethiopan Jews, traditionally the “lost tribes of Israel.” In singing of Zion, Matisyahu is totally in the reggae tradition. You say that politics has no place in art, but who made up or follows that rule? Ja rules!

    • z

      do you suffer from mental retardation??? The song has always been called Jerusalem ever since it came out in 2006.

  • Courage is always breathtaking because it is so rare.

  • michele fiore

    Never prouder to be a Jew. Matisyahu has elevated my soul to a higher level. Shema Yisrael!!

  • Ephraim

    Good for you! A man with courage. Unlike the cowardly Jew hating bigots.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    כל הכבוד!

  • Keith Johnson

    Baruch HaShem! If only every Jew had his pride in self and community, perhaps the world would think twice before its next attempt to destroy the People of Israel!

  • Jacqueline Ratner-Tiernan

    Time for more artists in all genres to stand up for reality and true peace!
    Matisyahu on his journey is always connected to his soul!

  • Chagoot Gardner

    Courage! If only more people had it! We have performers over here too skittish to defend Israel and they are only worried about selling records. This guy showed so much more courage! Mazel Tov!

  • Noah

    It would have been great if he said,”It is GREAT TO SEE SUCH support for my work and message from all the Palestinians. I wasn’t aware I had such a following.”

  • Steve Loeb

    Hardly a “sea” of flags … more like a handful

  • Denis MacEoin

    In the end, the BDSers were drowned out by people cheering. And this attempt to silence a Jewish performer has done the BDS movement in Spaiun no end of harm, with the public, press, and politicians condemning them as violent and fanatical. They should do more like this and put themselves out of business.

  • Merlyn St Martin

    Great to watch such courage! I agree life and the living it should imitate art. Art should be respected and it’s those bigots with their ignorance that should be banned!!!!!

  • Naomi

    You go, Matisyahu!!!!!

  • A. Lax


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  • Neil

    Jamaica is with you. Reggae music is Rastafari music. It’s Jewish very Jewish.

    • Uncle sam

      Ja rules!

  • cathleen mooney

    well done for not being intimidated, God richly bless you for blessing Israel

  • Shirley Ancer

    Courageous. I am proud of him and wish him a glorious future .p

  • Ingrid Sternberg

    Well done, keep on singing.

  • Mark

    Check out the huge Palestinian flag at 3:19 (and additional smaller ones).

  • I love that they are against it but went and got tickets and staying and listning …no one ever called arabs smart

  • Ben Avi

    Yasher koach Matisyahu!

  • Merkava4baz

    So let me get this straight. The BDS’s bought tickets so they could see Matisyahu sing???

  • maureen summerfield

    what a mensch………bravo

    • maureen summerfield

      thank you

  • Aviva

    Way to go Matis! Yasher Koach

  • Janine Milner

    So in awe if this such courage and he kept on singing amazing ! Respect to Matisyahu!

  • Valerie Hannah Sealey

    Well done Matisyahu.

  • How many years will it take Spain to become a FAILED STATE? Ten years, eleven years?

    Already the province Catalunya is infested by islamists who are aiming for an “autonomous” Catalunya, or more correctly, the first part of Spain to be again islamic Andalus.