- Frontman Radwan Ghazi Moumneh responded on Facebook, calling the decision "stomach-churning."
Leipzig club Mjut has cancelled a performance by Jerusalem In My Heart due to the Montreal-based group's solidarity with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
JIMH, a live audiovisual project spearheaded by producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh and filmmaker Charles-André Coderre, is currently on tour in Europe. They were due to perform at Mjut on Sunday, February 3rd, at a show promoted by Leipzig festival SeaNaps, but the gig was pulled by the club. In response, Moumneh posted a statement on JIMH's official Facebook page.
"We received no communication from Mjut but instead were informed by the unrelated event promoter," he wrote. "Mjut skipped communicating with me, our management, and our tour agent. The German promoter tried to convince Mjut to not cancel, to no avail. As reason for cancelling, Mjut cited 'content related' issues with JIMH's show, as well as my 'anti-Semitism.'"
Moumneh goes on to include part of Mjut's letter to SeaNaps, which claims the club reached out to JIMH in an attempt "to give room for discussion and exchange" and to "discuss internally about possibilities and actions." Moumneh denies these claims.
"For the record, Mjut expended exactly zero effort to communicate with me and/or our representatives," he wrote. "They are lying in their account about giving 'room for discussion.' In receipt of their missive via the event promoter, I made myself available to them. Nothing."
He added: "As we understand it, Mjut was contacted by an individual named Gerd Henning, who seemingly belongs to Antideutsche Zene. AZ makes it their practice to call out venues and promoters who book artists who have voiced their support for BDS. The implied threat is that a show will be disrupted, boycotted and that the venue shamed for harbouring anti-Semites... Telling a Semite that he knows nothing of his Semitism, from the comfort of their safe Germany, is the worst of history revisited. This is privilege and it needs to be checked... We have every right to stand by BDS, as citizens of hope, love and humanity."
Several days before Moumneh took to Facebook, SeaNaps posted a statement of their own on the social media platform, saying the show, which also includes a performance by Tarawangsawelas and Rabih Beaini, is moving to a different venue. The new location has since been confirmed as Frühauf Keller.
"We will not blame neither Mjut nor Jerusalem In My Heart for having their opinion and expressing it in a non violent way," wrote SeaNaps. "It is the right of an artist to refuse to play in a country or a venue for political reasons, it is the right of a venue to refuse an artist for political reasons as well. The concert will not happen in Mjut. Period."
Read Moumneh's statement in full.
This isn't the first time a party has been cancelled because of issues related to BDS and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In September, ://about blank cancelled a Room 4 Resistance event due to "irreconcilable differences." Read more about BDS and club culture in this in-depth feature.