19 August '15..
Make what you will of the apology by Rototom Sunsplash, organizers of the Spanish reggae festival that directed anti-Semitic demands at Jewish singer Matisyahu before ultimately barring him from performing.
Whether or not the apology is sincere or sufficient, at least one passage in their statement rings true:
Rototom Sunplash admits that it made a mistake, due to the boycott and the campaign of pressure, coercion and threats employed by the BDS País Valencià because it was perceived that the normal functioning of the festival could be threatened.
This description of coercion and threats matches similar accounts by artists who been prior targets of bullying at the hands of BDS extremists. As we've noted here in the past, Italian author Umberto Eco called their ideas "absolutely crazy" and "fundamentally racist"; Irish writer Gerard Donovan referred to them as "idiots" who try to bully and cajole and are guilty of "outright intimidation”; the band Dervish was intimidated by what it described as their “avalanche of negativity”, “venom” and "hatred"; and jazz musicians Erik Truffaz, Jack Terrasson and their manager Christophe Deghelt slammed the "sheer harassment" and "blatant denigration" at the hands of "intellectually dishonest" activists motivated by "intolerance" and "pathological hatred."
Matisyahu criticized Sunsplash for singling him out, as a Jew, in order to "coerce" him into political statements. And they certainly deserve to be held accountable for their decision, however temporary, to join forces with the bigoted BDS activists. But considering BDS's well-documented history, there is no reason to doubt the organizers' account that they, too, were the subjects of "pressure, coercion and threats."
CAMERA: Founded in 1982, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America is a media-monitoring, research and membership organization devoted to promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East. CAMERA fosters rigorous reporting, while educating news consumers about Middle East issues and the role of the media.