Matisyahu Concert Cancelled Over Antisemitic Threats

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A highly anticipated concert by Jewish singer Matisyahu at the Chicago House of Blues was abruptly canceled hours before it was set to begin on Saturday, due to fears of disruptions by pro-Palestinian protesters.

The event, which had sold out, became the center of controversy after several leaders from the Chicago Palestinian community and various organizations called for its cancellation, criticizing Matisyahu’s support for Israel.

In a statement released on Facebook, Matisyahu expressed his sadness over the cancellation:

“Dear Fans, it saddens me to write this to you. Our sold-out show tonight at House of Blues Chicago has been canceled due to the threat of protests. While the true details surrounding this decision remain opaque, and while the responsible parties all point fingers at one another over the decision; I can assure you there have been no threats of violence received by our security team who have been vigilant in knowing what is happening in each city.”

He assured fans that the proceeds from the venue’s cancellation fee would be donated to causes supporting the families of hostages and in honor of International Women’s Day, as well as to United Hatzalah, a volunteer-based emergency medical service.

Leaders of the Chicago Palestinian community published a letter urging the cancellation of Matisyahu’s concert. They criticized Matisyahu for his performances for the Israeli “Occupation Forces,” fundraising for Israel and AIPAC, and denying ongoing “genocide.” They also labeled the House of Blues as complicit in genocide for supporting the Jewish reggae musician.

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