- The Washington Times - Monday, August 17, 2015

A Spanish music festival has canceled the appearance of Jewish-American reggae artist Matisyahu after he reportedly refused to sign a statement endorsing Palestinian statehood.

Organizers of the Rototom Sunsplash music festival in Benicassim, Valencia, wrote in a post on the festival’s Facebook page: “The Rototom Sunsplash … has decided to cancel the Matisyahu concert scheduled for day August 22nd. Jamaican artist Etana will replace the Main Stage.”

The Spanish news outlet El Pais reported on Sunday that the festival urged Matisyahu to sign a statement or otherwise endorse a Palestinian state. The festival is an outspoken supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, an international campaign started in 2005 that boycotts Israel, Newsweek reported.

“The fact is that right now the Matisyahu concert is canceled and in his place is going to be Etana,” a representative for the festival, who would only give his first name, George, told Newsweek. “The festival said Matisyahu should sign [an endorsement] and Matisyahu didn’t want to, and that’s the matter of the cancellation.”

Matisyahu’s manager, David Serber, told Newsweek: “We are still dealing with the festival on this matter, but we plan on making a statement in the coming days.”

The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain, an official partner of the Spanish government, called the cancellation “cowardly, unfair and discriminatory.” The fact that taxpayer money goes toward a festival that supports the BDS movement is “shameful,” the statement said, according to Newsweek.

Four other artists will not be appearing in the Rototom festival because of its ties with BDS movement, according to El Pais.

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