Rappin' with the ex-presRappin' with the ex-pres

Matisyahu chats up Peres ahead of Jerusalem concert

The Jewish reggae star makes his second visit to Israel in six weeks

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

Matisyahu receiving a token of peace from Shimon Peres (Courtesy Orit Pnini)
Matisyahu receiving a token of peace from Shimon Peres (Courtesy Orit Pnini)

When you get to Israel twice in the course of six weeks, it’s easy to make time for Shimon Peres.

The former president and prime minister was one of Matisyahu’s first visits Wednesday, after arriving in Israel ahead of his Saturday night, October 10 concert in Jerusalem’s Sultan’s Pool.

The two met at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa on Wednesday morning. Following the riots that took place in Jaffa Tuesday night, Peres told Matisyahu that the Islamic movement attempted to start riots in Jaffa and failed.

“We will not allow extremist factions to make the city of Jaffa a city of bloodshed,” said Peres.

Peres said that Jaffa was now back to its normal state of coexistence, which is in the interest of everyone.

“We must do everything in our abilities to prevent disturbances of this kind, and to continue to maintain a mixed, harmonious city of Jaffa,” he said.

The former president also congratulated Matisyahu on his arrival in Israel, and for coming during a tense time.

“Thank you for not surrendering during a boycott and for supporting Israel, even in difficult times,” said Peres. “In your music, you represent peace and in your efforts you represent courage. We’re with you and behind you wherever you go.”

Matisyahu said he was warned that it is dangerous in Israel but said that it is important for him, as a Jew and as an American, to come to Israel regardless.

“My music stays out of boycotts, which create barriers,” he said. “This is not the way to advance peace. I call on all Jews to come to Israel and to support the joint effort toward peace.”

Matisyahu was last here in September, when he made an unplanned stop and performance in Jerusalem following an anti-Semitic incident during his performance at Spain’s Rototom festival.

After singing at the final concert of Jerusalem’s Sacred Music Festival, the American reggae singer made plans for the October 10 concert, to be held in Jerusalem’s Sultan’s Pool, under the historic shadows of the Old City walls. He will host Israeli singer Idan Raichel at the concert.

The setting is significant for Matisyahu, who has been singing one of his anthems, “Jerusalem,” more often of late.

He posted on Facebook: “Happy Sukkot! Jerusalem we’re on our way! Ain’t no one gonna break my stride, ain’t no one that can hold me down, OH NO I got to keep on moving stay… Jerusalem if I forget you..”

Happy Sukkot! Jerusalem we're on our way! Ain't no one gonna break my stride, ain't no one that can hold me down, OH NO I got to keep on moving stay… Jerusalem if I forget you..Sultan's Pool, Jerusalem. Saturday night October 10th with special guest Idan RaichelGet your tickets here: album out: America Fall Tour: song out: "Can't Catch Me" with Avicii and Wyclef:

Posted by Matisyahu on Saturday, October 3, 2015

Tickets are on sale at the following link and there is transportation to and from Tel Aviv. The event will be secured and under police protection.

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