ADL Welcomes Apology and Reversal of Cancellation of Matisyahu Concert in Spain

Says This is a “Teachable Moment for Resisting BDS Pressure Tactics"

New York, NY, August 19, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed an apology from the Rototom Sunsplash reggae festival for having cancelled a concert by American Jewish singer Matisyahu, and commended the festival for re-inviting him to perform.

ADL initially referred to the cancellation of Matisyahu’s show as a “clear case of anti-Semitic discrimination,” and noted it was illegal under Spanish law.

“The festival organizers unequivocally acknowledged their mistake and apologized,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL National Director. “Importantly, they contrasted the ‘threats and coercion’ of the anti-Israel BDS campaign with true respect for human rights and democratic values, citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Spanish Constitution.  This was a teachable moment for Rototom Sunsplash festival. It is also an important lesson for universities, businesses and cultural events to resist the aggressive pressure tactics of the BDS campaign and prevent attacks on cultural and academic freedom.”

Mr. Greenblatt added, “There was a clear instance of anti-Semitic discrimination in this specific case, and we appreciate the condemnations of the festival’s original decision by the Spanish government, local Spanish officials, and the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, all of which made clear that such discrimination is absolutely unacceptable.”

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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