Matisyahu, the former ultra-orthodox Jewish-American reggae artist who was disinvited and then re-invited to Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival in Spain under pressure from the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement supporters, appeared at the festival with a message of peace and sang his famous song, “Jerusalem.”
BDS supporters appeared at the festival and protested Matisyahu’s performance by waving Palestinian flags while he was performing. Some reports state at least 100 BDS supporters stood at the front of the audience, booing the Jewish performer at one point.
While it could have caused political backlash, Matisyahu sang “Jerusalem,” a song similar to Psalm 137, which illustrates the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, at the festival in front of the protestors, attempting to spread a message of love and peace for all.
The song also makes a Holocaust allusion: 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
After the event, Matisyahu tweeted, “Tonight was not easy but at the end of it all I feel blessed to be given the opportunity. Thank You!”
Matisyahu’s performance received favorable reviews, especially in light of the fact that he was promoting a message of peace.