WATCH: Matisyahu Urges Diaspora Jews: Visit Israel No Matter What
In Israel for his upcoming concert in Jerusalem this Saturday night, American Jewish reggae star Matisyahu held a join press conference with former Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv.
Matisyahu – who recently made headlines for successfully facing down anti- Israel boycotters at a Spanish reggae festival – urged world Jews not to fear the recent upsurge in violence in Israel, and to keep visiting the Jewish state no matter what in solidarity.
“A lot of people are going to be asking me why… you’re coming to Israel now, it’s a dangerous time to come,” he said, calling for world Jewry to rally behind theState of Israel during such difficult times.
“I think it’s an important thing for Jews outside of Israel, American Jews like myself, to come to Israel no matter what’s happening here, the ups and the downs… be a part of what’s happening.
“That’s exactly what happened with me in Spain,” he added.
“The idea of boycotters … creating more borders and more lines is not the way to encourage peace.”
Matisyahu also expressed his excitement for this Saturday’s performance, which will also feature leading Israeli artist Idan Raichel.
“Maybe you can make it to the show,” he grinned to the former President, who praised Matisyahu for his “courage” in fighting Israel’s corner and forcing the boycotters to apologize.
Peres noted how Matisyahu fused his positive music with his strong conviction and sense of Jewish identity.
“Not only do you represent peace and hope and togetherness, but also courage,” Peres told him.