The Scottish band Young Fathers. (Mark Mainz/Invision/AP) (Mark Mainz/Invision/AP)
Young Fathers band

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A German arts and music festival canceled a concert by the Scottish band Young Fathers due to its support for the anti-Semitic BDS movement.

By: The Tower and United with Israel Staff

A German arts and music festival announced last week that it has canceled a concert by the Scottish band Young Fathers due to the group’s support for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which targets the Jewish State.

The Algemeiner reported that Ruhrtriennale festival posted a press release on its website, announcing that the concert scheduled for August 18 had been cancelled. They said the reason for the cancellation was the band’s refusal to “distance” itself from the BDS movement, despite being asked to do so by the festival.

Ruhrtriennale’s Artistic Director Stefanie Carp, said, “The Ruhrtriennale distances itself in all forms from the BDS movement and wishes to have absolutely no connection with the campaign.” Carp added. “We have therefore decided to cancel the concert. We regret this immensely, because Young Fathers would have set an important tone in the program of the Ruhrtriennale.”

In a statement to Artists for Palestine UK, Young Fathers confirmed the cancellation.

The band accused the Israeli government of “grave violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people,” and rejected the criticism leveled at them. The band stood by their position and called the BDS movement “non-violent and anti-racist.”

Young Fathers pulled out of the 2017 Berlin-based Pop-Kultur festival because the Israeli Embassy had sponsored an artist from Israel with a 500-euro donation. In the past, Young Fathers urged the band Radiohead to not play in Israel. Radiohead, however, rejected the BDS campaign and performed in Israel.

Earlier this year, a report by the German state intelligence agency in Baden-Württemberg defined BDS as anti-Semitic in nature.

This is believed to be the first time that a German domestic intelligence agency has labeled BDS as anti-Semitic and a security threat, while German political bodies and politicians at various levels have already recognized BDS for what it really is.

In August, Frankfurt became the first German city to pass a bill outlawing municipal funding for the BDS movement’s activities.

In May 2017, Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) passed a resolution in support of Israel, condemning BDS as anti-Semitic.

In December 2016, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party announced passage of a resolution declaring BDS anti-Semitic.

The BDS movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts against Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent struggle against the so-called “Israeli occupation.”

Critics say its activities are a modern form of anti-Semitism and that its true objective is to destroy the State of Israel.