Spain condemns cancellation of Jewish musician at reggae festival

Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:19pm EDT
 
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MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government condemned on Tuesday a Spanish reggae festival's decision to cancel a concert by an American Jewish musician after he failed to reply to a demand to clarify his position on Palestinian statehood.

The cancellation of Matisyahu at the week-long Rototom Sunsplash festival in eastern Spain - following pressure from supporters of sanctions against Israel over its policies toward Palestinians - prompted protests by Jewish groups.

Spain said it rejected boycott campaigns and any sign of anti-Semitism, while reiterating its support for an independent Palestinian state through bilateral negotiations.

"Imposing a public declaration (from Matisyahu), puts into question the principle of non-discrimination on which all plural and diverse societies are based," the Spanish foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Matisyahu, who fuses reggae, hip-hop and rock with Jewish influences in his songs, had been due to perform at Rototom in Benicassim, Valencia, next Saturday.

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

 
Hasidic Jewish reggae musician Matthew Paul Miller, better known by his Hebrew name Matisyahu, poses for a portrait in Los Angeles June 16, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni