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Published on February 27, 2024
Protesters Target Matisyahu Concert in Portland Over Artist's Pro-Israel ViewsSource: Instagram/matisyahu

About 30 to 40 protesters voiced their disapproval outside the Aladdin Theater in Southeast Portland on Monday, targeting Jewish American musician Matisyahu for his pro-Israel stance. Attendees of the concert were met with insults, as demonstrators made their discontent known, leading to the presence of 11 police units. While police response was prompt, it was not immediately clear if any arrests were made during the incident, as reported by OregonLive.

The protest in Portland wasn't an isolated event. Just days prior, a pro-Palestinian group in Bend took a stand against Matisyahu at the Midtown Ballroom. Andrea Pirolo, an organizer for the protest, criticized the artist, claiming, "he has consistently, in a public-facing way, pushed anti-Palestinian rhetoric," as per Central Oregon Daily.  Despite the demonstration, no vandalism was reported at the Bend venue and according to a concertgoer interviewed by the same publication, the show's atmosphere was peaceful, with no mention of the protest or the conflict during the performance.

Matisyahu's concert series has run into controversy elsewhere as well, with cancellations marking his tour's recent history. According to The Times of Israel, two of his U.S. concerts were recently canceled in Santa Fe and Tucson amid protests over his support for Israel. Venues cited staffing shortages and safety concerns following intense protests against Matisyahu, well-known for his stance in favor of Israel and performances for Israeli soldiers.

In response to the turmoil surrounding his performances, Matisyahu took to social media to express his vision, "I dream of a day when Israelis and Palestinians read of this conflict in history books and no longer have to live it day by day... We want peace in our lifetime," he wrote on Facebook, as stated in Central Oregon Daily