Has Jewish Music Star Matisyahu Got a Middle East Problem?

by Emily Shire
August 30, 2015

After refusing to kowtow to a demand he advocate Palestinian statehood, the Jewish reggae hip-hop artist says he is a proponent for peace and ‘building bridges.’

While standing back stage, Matisyahu noticed a Palestinian flag in the audience, but when he stepped on to set up “about 20 flags came out,” he told The Daily Beast in a phone interview. “People were standing on each other’s shoulders with flags giving me the middle finger. It was intense. It was not peaceful. It was like ‘Fuck you, Matisyahu.’ I’ve never had the experience of anything like that, as a Jew or anything in my life.” Matisyahu said that the Rototom performance marked one of the only times he’s ever felt unsafe taking the stage. “I just assumed everyone in the festival was going to be regular reggae festival-goers, so I got really nervous. I felt totally open and that anyone could do whatever they want,” he said. His performance was the culmination of back-and-forth rescinded invitations from Rototom organizers that blew up into an international controversy. READ MORE

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