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Press Release

ADL: Cancellation of Matisyahu Performance by Spanish Reggae Festival a “Clear Case of Anti-Semitic Discrimination”

New York, NY, August 17, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the Rototom Sunsplash reggae festival in Spain for cancelling a performance by Matisyahu, an American-Jewish musician.

According to the Spanish newspaper El País, festival organizers demanded that Matisyahu issue a statement in favor of a Palestinian state and cancelled his scheduled August 22 appearance when no such statement was provided.

“Was a Jewish musician singled out, based on his religion, to undergo a political litmus test?” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL National Director. “Was he then denied the opportunity to perform for reasons completely unrelated to his musical talents? This appears to be a clear case of anti-Semitic discrimination - which is illegal in Spain - and we expect Spain to uphold its non-discrimination laws.”

Mr. Greenblatt added, “A local BDS group pushed for the boycott of Matisyahu, and the festival’s action provides another example of a clearly anti-Semitic result from the BDS Movement.”

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS) aims to isolate and demonize Israel and deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination and a homeland.

ADL also wrote to Javier Moliner Gargallo, President of the County Council of Castellón, which had provided financial support to the reggae festival, and requested that Mr. Moliner insist that the festival reverse its discriminatory decision or have its financial support revoked.

Last summer, ADL urged the Spanish government to take action on anti-Semitic incitement emanating from various anti-Israel demonstrations.

The League’s recent poll in 100 countries found that 29 percent of those surveyed in Spain harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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