Matisyahu to Perform this Week in Jerusalem

Jewish American reggae artist Matisyahu will be performing as the closing act for the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival this Friday, organizers have announced.

The surprise appearance is scheduled for the end of his European tour, which saw him make headlines after a hate campaign by the anti-Israel BDS movement saw his invitation to a Spanish reggae festival temporarily retracted.

"The Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival is happy to announce that famed singer Matisyahu is coming especially from the end of his European Tour to join us for the celebratory finale of the festival on Friday afternoon, September 4," festival organizers said in a statement.

The festival, now in its fifth year, seeks to transcend sectarian tensions in the holy city through music, and has proven popular, with people flocking from across the country to attend.

Matisyahu will join the festival’s final celebration in order to sing with local musicians of all religions songs from Jerusalem. Songs that believe in the power of music to unite humanity. Songs that broadcast and support the right of all peoples and faiths to come to Jerusalem and celebrate," the statement added. "Songs that turn Jerusalem into a place where togetherness is offered the chance, if only for a week, to burst through the city’s daily routine."

"The Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival is proof that music should and can always transcend politics," Matisyahu said, in response to the invitation. "It is proof that people all over the world have more in common than what divides them, and seek acceptance and oneness with each other. It is proof that music can express freedom without boarders.

"The festival’s vision fills me with the hope and belief that from Jerusalem we can answer those who choose conflict with the unifying call of music for all people regardless of faith or politics," he added.

Watch: Matisyahu faces down BDS haters in Spain:

Earlier this week, Matisyahu recounted his feelings facing off against dozens of hostile protesters who pushed their way to the front of the crowd during his performance at the Rototom Sunsplash festival in Spain.

The festival had re-invited him following a global backlash over its decision to cancel, which critics said smacked of blatant anti-Semitism.

The Jewish singer struck a defiant tone during the performance, where he also featured as one of the closing acts, singing his hit single "Jerusalem" and apparently unfazed by the attempts to intimidate him. 

But he admitted afterwards that he had felt nervous, saying it was the first time he had ever faced open anti-Semitism at a performance.

“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 ‘F*** you,Matisyahu.’ I’ve never had the experience of anything like that, as a Jew or anything in my life.”

He said that the performance was one of the only times he’s ever felt unsafe onstage.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/200165

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