Omar Barghouti on Matisyahu: ‘Perfectly reasonable to oppose performance by any bigot’

Activism
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Jewish American rapper Matisyahu (the stage name of Matthew Paul Miller) was disinvited from a music festival in Spain because of his support for Israel. Organizers of the Rototom Sunsplash European Reggae Festival say they were pressured to cancel the performance by supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement—an international movement that, through peaceful economic means, seeks to pressure Israel to abide by international law and ends its illegal military occupation of the Palestinians.

After Spain’s foreign ministry condemned the cancellation of the performance, the festival apologized and re-invited Matisyahu.

Denying accusations that the decision to cancel Matisyahu’s performance was motivated in any way by anti-Semitism, Spanish BDS activists maintain that they objected to Matisyahu’s “incitement to racial hatred and his defense of Israeli war crimes, including in his lyrics,” and “his hateful and racist views that dehumanize Palestinians and justify their oppression.”

The Spanish human rights activists explained:

As activists motivated by our commitment to full equality and human rights, irrespective of identity, we approached the festival organizers calling for the cancellation of Matisyahu’s concert in this year’s edition of the festival after learning of his participation. The reasons for our outrage was clear in our messaging: Matisyahu’s repeated defense of Israeli war crimes and gross violations of human rights, incitement to racial hatred, and connections to extremist and violent fundamentalist groups in Israel stand in direct contradiction to the human rights and peace principles and spirit of this festival.

The activists also emphasized that, although “the media has portrayed this effort as part of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, we wish to make clear that our efforts are outside the remit of the cultural boycott of Israel as per the guidelines issued by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).”

Supporters of the boycott argue that although Matisyahu is not involved with the Israeli government, he has done more than just support Israel verbally.

Revealed by the Spanish BDS activists is the fact that “Matisyahu’s lyricist, Ephraim Rosenstien, is himself a settler in an illegal West Bank colony. Rosenstein is associated with Honenu, an Israeli legal organization that defends settler terrorists who violently attack Palestinians to push them off their lands.”

On his official Facebook page, the musician claims he is not interested in politics, writing “My music speaks for itself, and I do not insert politics into my music.”

Does his claim that his music is apolitical stand up to closer scrutiny?

Jewish Studies Professor Charles Manekin argues no. On his blog, the scholar defended the decision to cancel Matisyahu’s performance. Manekin drew attention to a 2012 interview in which Matisyahu rehashed anti-Palestinian propaganda, claiming, “as far as I understand, there was never a country called Palestine.”

Manekin also points out that Matisyahu headlined a “pro-Zionist festival,” and notes that, at the height of Israel’s attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, Matisyahu posted “on his Facebook page a one-sided defense of Israel’s actions in Gaza by hasbarita [singer] Sara Merson.”

“An artist who has politicized his work should not be surprised if he is called out on it,” Manekin states.

Although Matisyahu may call himself an apolitical artist, the facts appear to indicate he is far from it.

In March, on his official Twitter account, Matisyahu wrote “I fucking love Israel. If you don’t then go suck on a lemon.”

In April, Matisyahu performed at the 2015 Policy Conference of AIPAC, the right-wing pro-Israel US lobbying organization that is invested in Israeli state bonds.

A video of Matisyahu’s performance at the conference was uploaded to YouTube.

Matisyahu also posted a video to his Facebook page of him at the AIPAC conference, stating “Just having a good time at the AIPAC conference.”

Palestinian journalist and the Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah argued it is not anti-Semitic to boycott Matisyahu.

Abunimah notes that, in a 2012 article in the Washington Post, Matisyahu explained he is “a strong supporter of Israel” and has often recorded and performed in Israel.

Matisyahu also supported Israel’s killing of 10 people on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in 2010, Abunimah reveals. “No other country,” Matisyahu maintained “would put up with the crap that Israel does.”

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) endorsed Abunimah’s article.

Matisyahu has headlined fundraisers for the pro-Israel group Friends of the IDF, Abunimah indicates, and his music has been used in Israeli state propaganda videos, like “Sunshine Across Israel,” posted to the government’s official Facebook account.

The description of the video on YouTube credits Matisyahu and adds “Please credit Israel MFA for any use of this video.”

Journalist Benjamin Doherty discovered that Zed Films, a production company that has made propaganda videos for the Israeli government and other Israeli institutions, has also made videos for Matisyahu.

Matisyahu has also performed at numerous pro-Israel festivals.

Supporters of the boycott point to what they feel to be double standards, indicating that, in 1982, publications like the Rolling Stone criticized musicians and festivals who did not boycott apartheid South Africa. A leading Israeli journalist recently came out in support of characterizing Israel as an apartheid state, and South African anti-apartheid leader Desmond Tutu has defended comparisons between apartheid in his nation and apartheid in Israel, maintaining “I know firsthand that Israel has created an apartheid reality within its borders and through its occupation. The parallels to my own beloved South Africa are painfully stark indeed.”

Those who oppose the boycott of Matisyahu have raised concerns that the decision to boycott Matisyahu in fact defies BDS principles, because the founders of BDS—which was called for by Palestinian intellectuals and activists—made it absolutely clear years ago that BDS targets institutions, not individuals.

As the movement writes on its official website (added emphasis):

In its 2005 BDS Call, Palestinian civil society has called for a boycott of Israel, its complicit institutions, international corporations that sustain its occupation, colonization and apartheid, and official representatives of the state of Israel and its complicit institutions. BDS does not call for a boycott of individuals because she or he happens to be Israeli or because they express certain views. Of course, any individual is free to decide who they do and do not engage with.

Opponents of the boycott have also argued that the boycott of Matisyahu, who is not Israeli, only serves to further perpetuate the conflation of Zionism, Judaism, and Jewishness—a conflation that is ultimately anti-Semitic.

Supporters firmly oppose this argument, nonetheless, arguing that their opposition to Matisyahu’s performance has nothing to do with Judaism or Jewishness.

Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian human rights activist and co-founder of the BDS movement and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), defended the decision to boycott the musician.

Barghouti, who literally wrote the book on BDS, told Mondoweiss the decision to cancel Matisyahu’s performance is “because of his record of hateful and racial incitement and his defense of Israeli war crimes and human rights violations, all of which directly contradict the human rights focus and spirit of the festival.”

“Matisyahu’s ethnicity, faith and other identity attributes are absolutely irrelevant to the campaign waged by human rights defenders in Spain against his show,” Barghouti explained.

Barghouti’s full statement is embedded below:

Human rights organizers in Spain have called on the Rototom festival to cancel an American singer’s show because of his record of hateful and racial incitement and his defense of Israeli war crimes and human rights violations, all of which directly contradict the human rights focus and spirit of the festival. What’s the fuss about?

Israel and Zionist groups in the US are trying to use the anti-Semitism smear to intimidate festivals, artists and businesses alike into maintaining an exceptional status for Israeli (and Jewish) violators of human rights or advocates of war crimes.

If a racist Catholic singer, say, regularly makes anti-Black statements, many African-American and other progressive groups would pressure festivals to exclude him on the basis of his hateful, discriminatory message. No one can blame the boycotters then of being “anti-Catholic.”

Was Rosa Parks “anti-white”? No, she was boycotting segregation and racism, irrespective of the identity of its perpetrators.

Similarly, if Swedish human rights activists, say, call for excluding a Muslim artist from a feminist festival because of his persistent support for Saudi Arabia’s horrific denial of equal rights for women, can anyone reasonably shout, “Islamophobia”?

Zionists are trying to make the argument that Jewish persons who advocate for or justify war crimes, express racial hatred, or incite to racist violence should be immune to criticism, simply because they are Jewish and because of the Holocaust; otherwise, it is anti-Semitism. This exceptionalism, other than being racist and absurd, directly feeds anti-Semitism.

Jewish offenders should be treated like all others, not better and certainly not worse.

Some of Matisyahu’s lyrics, so full of hate and denial of the very existence of the Palestinian people, are written by an Israeli settler living illegally on occupied Palestinian territory. This racist record directly contradicts the peace, human rights and justice principles and spirit of the festival.

Matisyahu’s ethnicity, faith and other identity attributes are absolutely irrelevant to the campaign waged by human rights defenders in Spain against his show.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), the part of the Palestinian leadership of the global BDS movement that deals with the academic and cultural spheres, calls for boycotts against Israeli institutions that are complicit in Israel’s violations of international law, not against individuals.

Unlike the cultural boycott movement against apartheid South Africa, the Palestinian BDS movement does not call for boycotting individuals. This is not because individual Israeli artists or academics tend to be more progressive or opposed to injustice than the rest of society, as often mistakenly assumed or falsely argued without a shred of evidence, but because we are opposed on principle to political testing and “blacklisting.”

The BDS movement has consistently refrained from using McCarthyist tools in resisting Israel’s regime of oppression, despite, or because of, the Israeli lobby groups’ persistent resort to what I call a “new McCarthyism,” one that uses unconditional allegiance to Israel as the litmus test of loyalty.

According to the BDS guidelines for the international cultural boycott of Israel, “a cultural product’s content or artistic merit is not relevant in determining whether or not it is boycottable.” The boycott is based on institutional links to Israel, its lobby groups or complicit institutions.

But, the guidelines also state that [emphasis his]:

“While an individual’s freedom of expression should be fully and consistently respected in the context of cultural boycotts, an individual artist/writer, Israeli or otherwise, cannot be exempt from being subject to “common sense” boycotts (beyond the scope of the PACBI institutional boycott criteria) that conscientious citizens around the world may call for in response to what they widely perceive as egregious individual complicity in, responsibility for, or advocacy of violations of international law (such as war crimes or other grave human rights violations), racial violence, or racial slurs.  At this level, Israeli cultural workers should not be exempted from due criticism or any lawful form of protest, including boycott; they should be treated like all other offenders in the same category, not better or worse.”

I think it is perfectly reasonable for conscientious citizens in any country to oppose a performance by any bigot or someone who incites to racial hatred.

About Ben Norton

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer based in New York City. His work has been featured in a variety of publications. You can follow Ben on Twitter at @BenjaminNorton. His website is BenNorton.com.

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48 Responses

  1. PeaceThroughJustice
    August 24, 2015, 10:50 am

    “The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) endorsed Abunimah’s article.”

    A small group of American Jews called Jewish Voice for Peace quickly backed up Barghouti and Abunimah with their own strong endorsement of the article, saying “all racists must be shunned no matter what their ethnicity.”

    (Just kidding, of course. There’s been not a peep out of them.)

  2. ivri
    August 24, 2015, 11:37 am

    I just read that in the end he did perform there. He was heckled by the “usual suspects” but got huge applauds from the others.
    Barghouti mistake is that in the end you cannot thrive on Negatives only. BDS, terror, missiles, mortars, violent demonstrations, hate talk, disruption of events and what not, cannot be a substitute for positive acts. They keep failing the Palestinians for a Century now – at every turn they put their faith in the new Negative that presumably will win the day for them (the next one, I think, is going to the ICC) . Try Positives – but sincerely, not as tactical moves. Learn from the Jewish post-Holocaust attitude – made peace with Germany, despite the true horror that took place, and went on to rebuild themselves.

    • eGuard
      August 24, 2015, 2:22 pm

      Yep. He had to face more Palestinian flags that he has ever seen. And bigger than his IDF-friends ever dreamed of.
      http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid591867023001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAAiWK0n2E~,K4CQP-D8fMxFj9_qdpjQ-OlGBFzMO-sW&bctid=4439514069001

      Filmed from stage btw.

    • diasp0ra
      August 24, 2015, 2:56 pm

      “went on to rebuild themselves.”

      On our bones.

      Is that what you call ethnic cleansing, Ivri? Rebuilding yourselves?

      Is that why you can’t find an orchestra to play Wagner in Israel today, Ivri?

      You can’t reconcile with someone that says you don’t exist.

    • eljay
      August 24, 2015, 2:56 pm

      || ivri: … in the end you cannot thrive on Negatives only. BDS, terror, missiles, mortars, violent demonstrations, hate talk, disruption of events and what not, cannot be a substitute for positive acts. … ||

      Yup. Jewish terrorism, ethnic cleansing, oppression, colonialism, expansionism, torture, murder, intransigence, belligerence and sundry (war) crimes cannot be a substitute for positive acts. Unfortunately, Zio-supremacists and the “Jewish State” have no intention of engaging in positive acts.

  3. hophmi
    August 24, 2015, 11:52 am

    Simply provide evidence that other performers at Rototom were subjected to similar treatment. You know you can’t. One day, BDS will reckon with the antisemitism of its followers, and the violence of those in the BDS movement who, faced with that antisemitism, offered apologetics, rather than condemnation.

    If you had any sense, Ben, you’d recognize this for what it was, and if you had any honor, you’d condemn it.

    • eGuard
      August 24, 2015, 2:04 pm

      Homphmi, examples are provided to you already, at http://jewschool.com/2015/08/37644/thoughts-on-matisyahu-and-bds/

      Interestingly enough, your comment over there is proof that you did not read the arguments at all. So why would someone here spend time on you?

      • Mooser
        August 24, 2015, 2:44 pm

        “So why would someone here spend time on you?”

        Why? Well, let’s let “Hophmi” himself tell us:

        “I can see the world for what it is and people for what they are, and my people especially owe nothing to anyone when it comes to caring about others besides us.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi?keyword=my+people#sthash.zCvTdVVE.dpuf

        That might be one reason why we must all wait on “Hophmi”s judgement. Another might be:

        “The world allowed Hitler to kill six million of my people,” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi?keyword=my+people#sthash.zCvTdVVE.dpuf

        Damn it, “Hophmi” has a right to know:

        “Because I’m Jewish, and there are relatively few of us, and my people share traditions, cultures, and customs, and the vast….” majority of us – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi?keyword=my+people#sthash.zCvTdVVE.dpuf

        We are “Hophmi”s people, and he has to be consulted concerning anything which concerns his people!

        “For me, it is about survival and the right of my people to self-determination” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi?keyword=my+people#sthash.zCvTdVVE.dpuf

      • Bornajoo
        August 24, 2015, 3:25 pm

        Thanks for the links Eguard. Yes, those examples were indeed already in Ben’s article. And that was a very impressive display of Palestinian flags. It’s obvious hophmi didn’t even read the article

        But you really must try and see this from Hophmi’s point of view. Don’t you know that those alleged Palestinian supporters are really up to? In hophmi’s world, this is what really happened:

        “Hey Amigos y amigas. A wonder opportunity has arisen to be able to express our latent anti semitism which in some of us has already turned virulent. You see there’s this Jewish reggae singer coming to town and we can all pretend we support these Palestinian people which will give us the excuse we need to express our irrational Jew hatred by getting him banned. And if that don’t work we can turn up at the gig with those Palestinian flags and give him some verbal abuse. I mean I don’t know about the rest of you guys but if I don’t get some of this virulent anti semitism disease thingy out of my system I’m gonna explode! ‘

      • RoHa
        August 24, 2015, 3:46 pm

        “We are “Hophmi”s people,”

        Mooser, do you happen to know how much he paid, and when he paid it? I’m not thinking of acquiring a people, but I’d like to have an idea of the going rate just in case I change my mind.

      • hophmi
        August 24, 2015, 4:20 pm

        “Interestingly enough, your comment over there is proof that you did not read the arguments at all. So why would someone here spend time on you?”

        I read the piece, which is the definition of whataboutery, when it’s not completely incorrect. In the addition, the author, Dan Sieradski, clearly has a personal history with Matisyahu and a bone to pick with orthodox Jews that is coloring his piece.

        But let’s take Sieradski’s silly argument at face value. Yeah, Rototom has a right to discriminate against Matisyahu because orthodox Jews impose litmus tests on non-orthodox Jews. Makes perfect sense. I guess we can discriminate against Muslims because Sunni Muslims don’t believe that Shia Muslims practice Islam correctly. It’s also not true that Jeff Wiesenfeld subjects every speaker at CUNY to a pro-Israel litmus test. But even if it were, that notion that it justifies an antisemitic witchhunt against Matisyahu is silly. This is exactly how antisemitism always goes down. Because one Jew did something somewhere, all Jews deserve to be targets.

        And Sieradski is at best misleading when he refers to the festival as private. It has government financing, and again, whether the festival is private or not, it doesn’t have license to discriminate against acts on the basis of religion.

        This was a golden opportunity for BDS to make clear that it did not endorse the boycotting of individual Jews or antisemitism. It failed miserably, and the true face of BDS has been exposed.

      • eGuard
        August 24, 2015, 5:14 pm

        Found: “hopmi people”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njrJussQvL4

      • Mooser
        August 24, 2015, 5:42 pm

        “Mooser, do you happen to know how much he paid, and when he paid it?”

        He didn’t pay, he inherited us, like serfs.

      • Mayhem
        August 24, 2015, 9:53 pm

        Barghouti supporting this poisonous action against Matisyahu shows that he does not want to adhere even to the bigoted guidelines proffered by the BDS movement. He wants to go much further and antisemitism is not going to get in his way.
        The comments at jewschool.com put paid to any credibility that the author there has anything worthwhile to say about this whole episode.
        In particular the idiotic claim that “You can bet your ass if a Palestinian performer who was on record making even vague anti-Israel statements and keeping associations with Muslim extremists had been invited to perform, the Jewish community would be lining up to have his performance canceled.”
        Certainly the Jewish community wants to prevent Jew haters and their ilk from having a platform in its own community, but it does not prevent Palestinians who breathe anti-Israel hatred from speaking in the wider community, which is where Matisyahu was appearing. Democratic Israel gives pro-Palestinian advocates free licence to speak out openly in the media and say stuff damning Israel – a privilege you won’t find in any of its neighbours.
        In fact this coming weekend we have a Palestinian propagandist and provocateur Ghada Karmi speaking at the Melbourne Writers Festival and I will be there to ensure that the lies she spreads can be countered using free speech, which is something that pro-Palestinians don’t believe in, especially when it comes to exposing their racist vitriol.

      • diasp0ra
        August 25, 2015, 7:47 am

        @Mayhem

        I see you are a fan of fantasy novels, because nothing you said had any basis in reality.

  4. Bornajoo
    August 24, 2015, 12:40 pm

    Thanks Ben

    “Some of Matisyahu’s lyrics, so full of hate and denial of the very existence of the Palestinian people, are written by an Israeli settler living illegally on occupied Palestinian territory. This racist record directly contradicts the peace, human rights and justice principles and spirit of the festival.”

    And:

    “think it is perfectly reasonable for conscientious citizens in any country to oppose a performance by any bigot or someone who incites to racial hatred.”

    Barghouti makes perfect sense. There is no doubt whatsoever, imo, that the original decision was indeed correct. The Boycott should have stood (and his music is crap too, that’s another good reason.)

    But for the record, I believe Barghouti’s decision to come out against Alison Weir was wrong because she is not a bigot.

  5. hophmi
    August 24, 2015, 4:22 pm

    Which of Matisyahu’s lyrics are “full of hate and denial of the existence of the Palestinian people?”

    Just curious if anyone here ever called for boycotting hip-hop artists whose lyrics are full of hate for women.

    • ErsatzYisrael
      August 24, 2015, 5:04 pm

      [email protected] 24, 2015, 4:20 pm: “I read the piece, which is the definition of whataboutery, when it’s not completely incorrect. “

      Two minutes later:

      [email protected] 24, 2015, 4:22 pm: “Which of Matisyahu’s lyrics are “full of hate and denial of the existence of the Palestinian people?”

      Just curious if anyone here ever called for boycotting hip-hop artists whose lyrics are full of hate for women.”

      Project much?

    • eGuard
      August 24, 2015, 5:08 pm

      hupmi: boycotting hip-hop artists whose lyrics are full of hate for women.

      That would be Matisyahu again. As you could/should have read at http://jewschool.com/2015/08/37644/thoughts-on-matisyahu-and-bds/ point#4: Matisyahu does not even allow women on stage.

      • hophmi
        August 25, 2015, 10:43 am

        ” Matisyahu does not even allow women on stage.”

        Again, it’s a totally unsourced claim, and even if it were sourced, it would be completely beside the point; Matisyahu has never tried to ban women from performing at the festivals that he performs at.

        Keep digging to defend antisemitism, folks…

      • eGuard
        August 25, 2015, 3:29 pm

        Re hopmi, ambassador of the “hopmi people”. I did not write here to hear your “arguments”.

        I am only pointing out you did not read that post when you commented over there. You just read it 5 mins ago for damage control (as in: let’s move my trainwreck somewhere else).

        I did so twice in this thread.

  6. German Lefty
    August 24, 2015, 5:47 pm

    Natalie Portman says Jewish community is too focused on the Holocaust
    “I think a really big question the Jewish community needs to ask itself, is how much at the forefront we put Holocaust education. Which is, of course, an important question to remember and to respect, but not over other things,” Portman said. “We need to be reminded that hatred exists at all times and reminds us to be empathetic to other people that have experienced hatred also. Not used as a paranoid way of thinking that we are victims.”
    Portman emphasized that she thinks modern anti-Semitism should be differentiated from Nazi ideology.
    “Sometimes [the Holocaust] can be subverted to fear-mongering and like ‘Another Holocaust is going to happen.’ We need to, of course, be aware that hatred exists, anti-Semitism exists against all sorts of people, not in the same way. I don’t mean to make false equivalences, we need it to serve as something that makes us empathetic to people rather than paranoid,” Portman said.
    http://www.jewishjournal.com/hollywood/article/natalie_portman_says_jewish_community_is_too_focused_on_the_holocaust

    • Kathleen
      August 24, 2015, 9:40 pm

      Read that. First time Natalie Portman has come out in such a clear and unbiased way. Generally it is all support for Israel no matter what. A shift. A good thing.

  7. Kathleen
    August 24, 2015, 9:46 pm

    Barghouti’s statement nails the issue. Can anyone get any more succinct? I don’t think so.

    “as far as I understand, there was never a country called Palestine” What a bigoted turd. Clearly likes having his head up where the sun does not shine.

  8. a blah chick
    August 24, 2015, 10:42 pm

    Mayhem:
    “In fact this coming weekend we have a Palestinian propagandist and provocateur Ghada Karmi speaking at the Melbourne Writers Festival and I will be there to ensure that the lies she spreads can be countered using free speech…”

  9. edwardm
    August 24, 2015, 11:10 pm

    So….. this so this so-called “rapper” has a LYRICIST?! LMFAO!
    He is an embarrassment to himself. For that alone. Rapper! haha!

    • Annie Robbins
      August 25, 2015, 11:52 am

      Matisyahu singing Jerusalem in front of high flying Palestinian flags

      • Steve Grover
        August 25, 2015, 1:36 pm

        Thanks for sharing my favorite Matisyahu song. I remember seeing him in Chicago touring with Sting when he was a Lebuvitcher Chasid. With his new rise in fame and his incredible voice, I hope he and David Gilmour will go record and tour together. They should do nothing but Pink Floyd songs with Matisyahu singing the Roger water parts. I hope they make a shit load of money doing this .

      • James North
        August 25, 2015, 1:38 pm

        “Grober”: What a tool you are. Are you sure your real last name is not Bartman?

      • Mooser
        August 25, 2015, 6:23 pm

        ” I remember seeing him in Chicago touring with Sting when he was a Lebuvitcher Chasid.”

        Oh yes, the”Lebuvitcher Chasid” phase all Jewish rappers go through. It’s sort of like payin’ your dues on the chitlin’ circuit for a blues musician.

      • Steve Grover
        August 25, 2015, 9:39 pm

        Moises,
        Let me recommend the book Rebbe by Joseph Telushkin. It is a fascinating biography of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
        http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0062318985/ref=pd_aw_fbt_14_img_2/178-9748690-0042559?ie=UTF8&refRID=0B72VHWTQP7AWWSYTFHW

    • Steve Grover
      August 25, 2015, 1:59 pm

      North, being called a tool by you is a badge of honor. I read your laughable crap.
      Also North, us Cub Fans are Zionists! So much so they won’t let Brant Rosen into Wrigley.
      BTW they are starting a series tonight at Annie’s Giants. The Cubs will sweep em again.

      • James North
        August 25, 2015, 2:04 pm

        Mondoweiss visitors should Google “Steve Bartman” to learn “Grober’s” possible true last name.

    • tree
      August 25, 2015, 3:37 pm

      They should do nothing but Pink Floyd songs with Matisyahu singing the Roger water parts.

      ah, err, you do know that Roger Waters would get royalty payments for any of the 93 Pink Floyd songs that he had a hand in writing for any performance of those songs, right? I’m sure he’d be happy if Matisyahu recorded them. Maybe Miller the bigot would even learn something from them. In any case Waters could take that money to the bank, or even donated it to Palestinian charities if he so chose.

      Being the kind of thinker who considers morality a sport you no doubt would consider giving Waters money as an own-goal on your part. Be careful what you wish for.

      • just
        August 25, 2015, 5:18 pm

        Well said, tree.

        “With his new rise in fame and his incredible voice…”

        @ Steve Grover~ Matisyahu’s voice and rap are both mediocre at best. Your statement only proves your lack of reggae cred and taste in general.

        In other news:

        “University of Illinos Officers: Reinstate Prof. Who Lost Job Offer Over anti-Israel Tweets …

        Executive officers at the University of Illinois have called for the reinstatement of a professor whose job offer was rescinded over his anti-Israel tweets.

        The 41 department heads, chairs and directors in an open letter published Sunday said Acting Chancellor Barbara Wilson and President Timothy Killeen should call for the reinstatement of Steven Salaita at the next board meeting, on Sept. 10, the Daily Illini student newspaper reported.

        Phyllis Wise resigned as chancellor about two weeks ago after being implicated in a scandal over hidden emails…

        Last summer, the university announced that Salaita would be joining the faculty. Wise revoked the appointment, however, after being made aware of Twitter posts by Salaita attacking Israel and its U.S. supporters in harsh language during Israel’s operation in Gaza last summer. The tweets appeared on Salaita’s personal account.
        Donors to the university reportedly had complained about the tweets and called on the university to rescind the appointment.

        Salaita has filed a lawsuit against the university, the board of trustees and several administrators claiming that they violated his constitutional rights, including to free speech and due process. He also is suing for breach of contract and intentional emotional distress. Salaita is seeking compensation and the job as a tenured professor in the American Indian studies department.

        He announced last month that he will serve as the Edward W. Said chair of American studies at the American University of Beirut.

        The American Association of University Professors voted in June to censure the University of Illinois, two months after releasing a report that found the university violated the principles of academic freedom and tenure in the Salaita case.”

        read more: http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/1.672945?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

        This is not going away.

      • Steve Grover
        August 25, 2015, 9:19 pm

        Tree
        As long as they don’t to Wall crap. I really don’t care if Waters has a hissy fit all the way to the bank. Fear not Tree, Matisyahu will come out the winner financially and famously.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 25, 2015, 10:14 pm

        just, yes! great news. and no, it is definitely NOT going away.

        Matisyahu will come out the winner financially and famously

        most americans have not even heard of matisyahu. roger waters/pink floyd was selling out stadiums all across the world by the time he was matisyahu’s age.

        pink floyd is a world brand they have sold more than 250 million albums worldwide. there’s no comparison at all (matisyahu half million). lol, fear not! also, according to wiki – Roger Waters:

        In 1990, he staged one of the largest and most extravagant rock concerts in history, The Wall – Live in Berlin, with an official attendance of 200,000.

  10. jon s
    August 25, 2015, 10:38 am

    The question , in principle, is whether performers should be required to conform to a certain political position, as a condition for performing.
    And was this required from every performer, every member of every band, or only of Matisyahu?

    In the end, he faced the Palestinian flags and sang “Jerusalem, if I forget you…”

    • Mooser
      August 25, 2015, 11:15 am

      “In the end, he faced the Palestinian flags and sang “Jerusalem, if I forget you…”

      Yeah, yeah, “Jon s”, we know, first his palm got all hairy and then his hand fell off. We know the drill. Zionism as self-abuse.

      • Mooser
        August 25, 2015, 12:22 pm

        Hey “Jon s”, I gotta go to the dentist, but let me introduce a startling idea to you. Did you ever think people might be more amenable to protestations of religious fervor or ethnic solidarity when you are explaining why you must sacrifice something, or be unusually charitable as opposed to always trying to tell people why you are entitled to things because of your religion or whatever? Especially, you know, their things?

        Okay, ridiculous, I know, so you just keep on telling people why being Jewish entitles us to stuff. I’m sure that’s just what they need to hear.

    • Sibiriak
      August 26, 2015, 1:57 am

      jon s: The question , in principle, is whether performers should be required to conform to a certain political position, as a condition for performing.
      ——————–

      Exactly. This is not about antisemitism; it is about political litmus tests for individual preforming artists. And it is, as you say, a matter of principle . While anyone may agree on the political validity of any particular litmus test, do we want to promote the general principle that artists everywhere can and should be subject to such political tests? That’s a very dangerous proposition, in my view.

      Consider this recent case:

      A pianist has been struck off the concert programme with a Canadian orchestra for expressing her support for pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.

      Valentina Lisitsa, a Ukraine-born pianist, was scheduled to play Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on Friday night, but her performance was scrapped amid “ongoing accusations of deeply offensive language” on Twitter, said the orchestra’s president, Jeff Melanson.

      Lisitsa had posted graphic images and angry rhetoric about the conflict in east Ukraine and criticised western journalists for supposed bias in covering the events. Canada has a large Ukrainian diaspora.

      “As one of Canada’s most important cultural institutions, our priority must remain on being a stage for the world’s great works of music, and not for opinions that some believe to be deeply offensive,” Melanson said.

      Lisitsa said she never posted any threats or anything else illegal and she had not been planning to make any political statement during the concert. She said her Twitter activity was borne of a feeling that the coverage of events in Ukraine had been skewed in favour of the new government in Kiev.

      In Toronto, there was mixed reaction to the move. One columnist in the Toronto Star said the ban created a “dangerous precedent” and “has made a mockery of the arts in this city”.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/10/toronto-orchestra-cancels-ukraine-pianist-valentina-lisitsa-concert

      (More details on what Lisitsa actually posted: http://news.nationalpost.com/toronto/toronto-symphony-bans-ukrainian-born-pianist-over-provocative-tweets-denouncing-kyivs-neo-nazis)

      Is that really the road we want to go down? Do we really want performing artists everywhere to be subject to all kinds of boycotts for expressing their individual political opinions? These kinds of individual bannings will almost certainly come back to bite progressive artists an the ass.

    • Kathleen
      August 26, 2015, 12:01 pm

      As Barghouti points out Matisyahu’s bigotry and incitement of hate of Palestinians is a direct contradiction to the alleged focus on human rights of that music festival.

  11. hophmi
    August 25, 2015, 10:48 am

    So why did Ben Norton condemn Sunsplash before flip-flopping and condoning their bigotry?

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2015/08/leading-bds-writer-courageously-condemns-matisyahu-ban-then-post-disappears/

    • eGuard
      August 25, 2015, 3:35 pm

      Why didn’t you read his piece before commenting here? A pattern is appearing in this behavior.

    • Sibiriak
      August 26, 2015, 1:17 am

      hophmi: So why did Ben Norton condemn Sunsplash before flip-flopping and condoning their bigotry?
      ——————

      In the article above, Ben Norton himself does not take a stand on the boycott of Matisyahu. He describes the positions of both opponents and supporters.

      Ben Norton writes:

      Those who oppose the boycott of Matisyahu have raised concerns that the decision to boycott Matisyahu in fact defies BDS principles, because the founders of BDS—which was called for by Palestinian intellectuals and activists—made it absolutely clear years ago that BDS targets institutions, not individuals .

      […]Opponents of the boycott have also argued that the boycott of Matisyahu, who is not Israeli, only serves to further perpetuate the conflation of Zionism, Judaism, and Jewishness—a conflation that is ultimately anti-Semitic. (emphasis added)

      Those two arguments are precisely the ones Norton himself makes in the article you link. Basically, Norton is quoting himself as an opponent of the Matisyahu boycott:

      [Ben Norton:] The disinvitation of Matisyahu makes no political sense. The artist has made it clear that he is not a hardline Zionist. And, even if he were, it would not matter, as BDS does not target individuals based upon their political views. Once again, BDS targets institutions, not individuals.

      In the end, the cancellation of the Matisyahu performance only serves to further perpetuate the conflation of Zionism, Judaism, and Jewishness—a conflation that is ultimately anti-Semitic. (emphasis added)

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Cug0nASZJxAJ:bennorton.com/cancellation-of-matisyahus-performance-blatantly-defies-bds/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

      I agree with Norton that a Matisyahu boycott violates the principle that BDS does not target individuals based upon their political views. I disagree, however, that this involves a conflation of Zionism, Judaism and Jewishness. This is not about anti-Semitism; it is about promoting an anti-Zionist political litmus test for individual artists.

  12. straightline
    August 25, 2015, 10:37 pm

    William Jacobson is the guy who rebroadcast the Marie Brenner Vanity Fair fairytale. Good to know your sources, hophmi.

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