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Post Script to a Scandal: Why Matisyahu Made a Worthy Target for BDS After All


Post Script to a Scandal: Why Matisyahu Made a Worthy Target for BDS After All

Roz Galtz

Until last week, few people outside the rarefied world of Jewish pop culture had ever heard of American Jewish reggae personality Matisyahu. Then the pro-Palestinian BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) movement pushed to have him blocked from a reggae festival in Spain. Event organizers demanded Matisyahu formally endorse a Palestinian state; when he refused, he was dropped from the lineup, provoking outcry from Jewish groups worldwide.


Several weeks ago, in an attempt to broaden my understanding and examine my own biases, I did some research using the keywords "exodus, diaspora, pogrom, Israel, and Palestine." Had I not done that this piece would have had little meaning to me. Ms. Galtz correctly points out that the absence of statehood was a reality the Palestinians shared with many peoples of the world at the time. Also, that absence of national cohesion is not a defensible reason to abrogate the basic human rights that have been and continue to be denied to "Palestinians."

The world community erred, not in the creation of the modern state of Israel, but in the manner in which it was done. How it could have been done better though is anybody's guess.


Justaman, a critical history of modern nation-building projects is not exactly something we teach in schools. wink I'm sure a lot of folks make the Palestinian critique without realizing that there was more of a "proto-nation" in place there than there was for many modern European states whose validity we'd never ever question. (And then of course there is the yawning comparison to Israel itself...) It's super cool that you took the time to investigate the question, and thanks for your response!


Xavier, we all of us come from blinkered backgrounds in one way or another (often in many ways at once). I'll be honest that in mentioning my dinner table conversations growing up, I was not seeking a condescending pat on the head from random men. I come from a more complex "milieu" than you imagine...but there you go--we all have our stories.

As for my believing that a two-state solution is the only ethical option at this point--I can assure you that has almost nothing to do with how I grew up. It has to do with a reasoned desire to find a solution that brings the most justice to the most people with the least additional barbarity.


Well argued Dr. Galtz! Brava!

We'll never begin to recover from the millennia of injustice until enough people do as you did here: kick that "not a nation" canard to the curb, and point out that the UN has never had the right to give away part of someone's land to incomers, and that the Nazi leadership were hanged for the same taking-land-by-force that is the basis for Israel's existence today.