Matisyahu and the BDS Anti-Semitism Connection

It shouldn’t have taken the decision of a music festival in Valencia, Spain to make this clear. Long before the Rototom Sunsplash told American singer Matisyahu that he must either sign a declaration of support for the creation of a Palestinian state or have his appearance canceled, it was clear that the BDS — boycott, divest, sanction — movement had crossed the line between legitimate criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism. Yet by enforcing political litmus on a figure that is widely identified as a Jew but not an Israelis, the organizers revealed the ultimate purpose of the cause they say they support. As we saw with the actions of student groups at Stanford University and UCLA earlier this year when less celebrated persons than the reggae singer were singled out as suspect because of their Jewish identity, the point of such exercises isn’t merely to enforce ideological purity on either campuses or the music scene. Rather, it is to put Jews on notice that they must either turn on Israel or face opprobrium. Rather than dismiss these examples are outliers, it is time for those who rationalize boycotts of Israel or themselves wish to practice more selective versions against particular Jews, to grasp the fact that the economic war on Israel has long been indistinguishable from one against all Jews.

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Matisyahu and the BDS Anti-Semitism Connection

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