By The Sun Newspaper

A NOTORIOUS Nazi war criminal who invented mobile gas vans to kill Jews died in a miserable squalid cellar surviving on army rations after fleeing to Syria, it has been revealed.

The fate of Alois Brunner – who was Nazi hunters’ number one wanted war criminal – had remained a mystery after he fled Germany in 1953, evading capture.

But now three Syrian spies have revealed the evil Nazi – who tutored them in torture and clandestine police work – died in misery, squalor and agony in a grim basement in Damascus, aged 88.

The monster, who described Jews as “human garbage”, was personally responsible for rounding up at least 130,000 Jewish men, women and children in France – and having them shipped off for extermination.

The twisted killer’s fate was revealed by French magazine XXI this week, with veteran Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld saying the report was “highly credible”.

A diabolical Nazi, Brunner was the inventor of mobile “gas vans” – innocent looking lorries whose passenger compartments were sealed.
Exhaust gas from the engine of the trucks fed back into the van, killing all its occupants.

The mobile ‘gas vans’ were the twisted brainchild of monster Alois Brunner and were used by the Nazis to exterminate Jews

The vans operated outside of ghettos and concentration camps in eastern Europe before mass killing factories like Auschwitz were built.

He occupied the number one slot of most wanted war criminals on a list compiled by by the Simon Wiesdenthal Nazi-hunting organisation in America.

Brunner, who died in 2001, was the right-hand-man to Adolf Eichmann, the supreme logistician of the Holocaust of who plotted the transports across Europe to the extermination camps in occupied Poland.

He fled to Syria after the war where the Assad regime sheltered him for decades, but his notoriety meant he was practically kept as a prisoner.

Israeli agents managed to send him parcel bombs on two occasions, which wounded him but did not kill him.

Now three ex-members of the Syrian secret service who he tutored in torture and clandestine police work revealed his final years were spent in “miserable and squalid” conditions beneath an apartment block in Damascus.

One of his guards called Omar said Brunner, who went by the name of Abu Hussein, “suffered and cried a lot in his final years. Everyone heard him. In the end he couldn’t even wash himself.

“All he had to eat were army rations – awful stuff – and an egg or a potato. He had to choose one or the other.”

Nazi-hunter Mr Klarsfeld, whose father was murdered in Auschwitz, once flew to Damascus in the 1980s to plead with the Assad regime to give Brunner up for trial in the west.

“I am satisfied to learn that he lived badly rather than well in exile,” he said.

Brunner left Germany for Egypt in 1953 with a passport in the name of Georg Fischer and worked for a time as a gun-runner for Algerians fighting to throw off French colonial rule in their country.

Then he moved on to Damascus, where he taught secret service agents all the terrible interrogation and torture techniques which the Gestapo used during the Third Reich.

Convicted by French courts in absentia to death, he lost an eye and four fingers in the two Mossad bomb attacks, but nothing diminished his love of Nazism or his hatred of the Jews.

In a 1987 telephone interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, he stated that he didn’t regret his part in the Holocaust.

“All of them deserved to die because they were the devil’s agents and human garbage. I have no regrets and I would do it again.”

According to XXI, Brunner was practically under house arrest in his apartment in the diplomatic quarter of Damascus from 1989 onwards.

He was moved into the basement by the Assad regime for unspecified “security reasons.”

“Once he was in the room, the door was closed and never opened again,” Omar told the magazine.

He claimed Brunner was buried secretly in accordance with Muslim rites in the city’s Al-Affif cemetery in December 2001.

“In a dictatorship like Syria, he was untouchable as long as the dictator didn’t want rid of him,” said Mr Klarsfeld.

“Until the end he kept his hatred of Jews intact, as well as his faith in National Socialism.

“He was someone who hated France as much as he hated Jews.”

Uber is used to getting what it wants, find wherever it wants. In 60 countries the ride-hailing colossus has pursued an SUV-size take on Sun Tzu: slip into a market by surprise, quickly suffocate any competitors and — if this infuriates entrenched taxi lobbies and government officials — never, ever back down. Uber has overcome violent taxi protests, and dozens of places that once dubbed it “illegal” now have laws codifying its business model — even the mayor of New York caved under an Uber-led outcry in July.

But Uber is now facing opposition that’s not as easily rolled as a bunch of feckless, anticompetition governments. In the parts of the world, mostly Asia, where Uber is just getting going, the company and its pugilistic CEO, Travis Kalanick, are facing entrenched private competition on a scale it has never seen.

In India incumbents Ola Cabs and TaxiForSure welcomed Uber’s recent entry there by merging in March, giving themselves an 80% market share and then raising another $400 million from powerful backers like SoftBank and Tiger Global. In Southeast Asia Uber (which declined to make executives available for interviews) will have to contend with three-year-old GrabTaxi, which launched in Malaysia, shares two investors with Ola and now also operates across five nearby countries — Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. In Latin America Easy Taxi says it is bigger than Uber.
In China, already the world’s biggest market for ride-hailing apps, the two top incumbents also merged, in February, forming Didi Kuaidi, a combination of Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache. The firm has a two-year head start, just raised $2 billion to the $1 billion Uber has earmarked for China and averages 6 million rides a day, six times Uber’s self-reported volume. Didi controls 99% of the taxi-hailing market and 78% of the private-car market by ride volume, according to a report from Analysys International. If it needs more capital, it can tap its investors Alibaba and Tencent, China’s two biggest Internet firms, plus SoftBank. “The competition from Uber is just a tiny wave in our progress,” says Didi CEO Cheng Wei.

Investors who have bid up Uber’s private market cap to an astonishing $50 billion are counting on overseas growth to make that valuation pencil out. They also like Uber’s technology advantage after hundreds of millions of rides. “These systems rely on algorithms — for routing, availability and matching, for fraud detection. We’ve been at this a lot longer than either of our competitors in [China and India]. That gives us advantages they don’t have,” says early Uber investor Bill Gurley of Benchmark.

But the rivals are veterans, too, and they’re forming a supergroup. Last month Didi and its backers at Tiger Global and SoftBank led a $350 million investment in GrabTaxi. Chinese people traveling to, say, Vietnam or Malaysia will soon be able to pull up their Didi app and call a GrabTaxi car, and GrabTaxi customers will do the same in China, akin to a mobile phone roaming-service partnership. “Our customers read Chinese, not English or Spanish, so they want to use a Chinese app to get access to other travel markets,” says Didi President Jean Liu, a former Goldman Sachs banker and daughter of Lenovo'schairman.

“Everyone is solving the same problem,” says Dennis Wang, CEO of Easy Taxi, which operates in parts of Latin America, Africa and Asia. “Being able to do it locally and faster, for us that balances out the cash Uber has.”

Uber’s adventures in China are a microcosm of how its global expansion might unfold. Its growth, like China’s overall, has been meteoric. After only 18 months on the ground there, Uber counts five Chinese cities among its top ten worldwide by ride volume and says the country will likely produce more rides than the U.S. by year-end. Its legal status remains murky in most metro areas. Authorities in April and in May raided Uber’s offices in Guangzhou and Chengdu. The harassment comes despite an infusion of at least $200 million from the politically connected Chinese search engine Baidu and despite Uber’s decision to operate as a separate business entity called Uber China, run by Chinese managers.

Uber’s top priority in China, as in any new country, is wooing drivers. Both Uber and Didi have turned driver subsidies into blood sport, often paying them two or three times the fare. Drivers have figured out how to scam the system. In one scheme they buy phones that are hacked to have multiple phone numbers, which allows a driver to “ping” himself from a passenger account, hop in a car and collect the bonus. Uber has said its fake-ride rate is around 3%, but local media estimate the fraud rate at 30% to 40%. Didi says it has “almost no” fake orders. A Guangzhou driver named Liang said that Didi is stricter about banning drivers it suspects of fraud. Uber, he said, started cracking down in the last month.

Didi is focused now on tearing pages from Uber’s playbook. It started out in taxis, but now its private-car service makes up around half of its trips after debuting less than a year ago. Didi is testing a carpooling service called Hitch, a bus line and on-demand designated drivers. CEO Cheng is confident his company can keep Uber at bay. “China’s Internet competition is the most intense in the world,” he says, “and Didi Kuaidi is the winner that survived.”

After China and the U.S., India is the market Uber lusts after most. The cab wars there are in their early days — some 97% of Indians don’t even own cars. But to see what Uber is up against, just stand on a busy corner in the sultry coastal city of Chennai and count the number of OlaCabs that pass by. With a three-year head start, Ola has outrun Uber from the get-go. It says it has 80% of the market, is growing 30% to 40% month over month and provides some 750,000 rides per day in 250,000 vehicles, including private sedans, hatchbacks and three-wheeled tuktuks. Uber claims it gets 200,000 rides a day but says it is also growing 40% and has 35% market share. Ola got a lot bigger in March, paying $200 million for rival TaxiForSure. Ola raised $400 million in April at a rumored $2.5 billion valuation.

Ola’s driver base is loyal. Before Kalanick even learned how to spell Chhattisgarh, Ola struck deals with auto manufacturers and India’s largest bank to arrange installment loan programs so that drivers could buy cars and work off the loans by driving for Ola. “We devised the world’s first driver-repayment system,” says Ola senior director of marketing Anand Subramanian. Ola started selling motorized rickshaw rides in November 2014. Uber followed. Ola created a digital wallet to pay for rides in September 2014. Uber followed. Uber has tried to undercut Ola on price by giving bonuses to drivers, just as it does in China. Ola has never considered that as an option. You get higher-quality drivers, says Subramanian, by giving incentives based on earning five-star-rated rides or giving a certain number of rides per day. “This makes customers want to come back.”

More nascent markets were staked out early by Brazil’s Easy Taxi, which was founded in Rio de Janeiro in June 2011, months before Uber began its international expansion. Easy Taxi is now up to 6 million rides a month, with 400,000 drivers in 30 countries. In Southeast Asia, where fare-haggling is a tradition, Easy Taxi pioneered the ability for passengers to up their bid in the app to attract drivers during rush hour, a mirror-image of Uber’s surge pricing.

Wang, Easy Taxi’s 32-year-old co-CEO, wishes Uber luck at waging price war in Latin America. “Taxis here are supercheap, and there are a ton of them, so service is fast,” he says. He’s investing in places such as Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Nigeria, where Uber has dipped its toes but the market is still for the taking. “We know how Uber operates and how to position our brand to fight.”

Uber made winning America look easy. The road out has more bumps.

By Forbes Magazine

Hitler’s Nazi engineers made technological developments which were innovative and far ahead of their time, manufacturing weapons such as sonic cannons, x-ray guns and land cruisers.

The magazine Weapons of WWII has exhibited some of Hitler’s secret Nazi weapons in its Autumn 2015 issue.

The Fritz X, one of Hitler’s most secret bombs, is widely considered to be the grandfather of today’s smart bomb.

The glide bomb was radio guided and carried over 700lbs of explosives. It was capable of hitting strongly protected targets such as battleships and heavy cruisers.

It could penetrate 28in of armour and could be deployed from 20,000ft, meaning it could be out of reach for antiaircraft equipment at the time.

The “flying wing” bomber was designed to carry 2,000lbs of armaments while flying at 49,000ft above ground level and travelling at speeds north of 600mph.

First flown in 1944, the Horten Ho 229 was the world’s premiere stealth aircraft, equipped with twin turbojet engines, two cannons, and R4M rockets.

The Nazis allocated half a million Reich Marks to manufacturing the plane which has inspired modern stealth aircrafts such as the Northrop Gruman B-2 bomber.

The Goliath tracked mine, known as “Doodlebugs” or beetle tanks to the Allies, was controlled with a joystick and powered by electric motors or gas burners.

The miniature tanks could carry between 133 and 220lbs of high explosives and were used to navigate minefields and attack heavy vehicles and fortifications. This Nazi innovation paved the way for today’s radio-controlled weapons.

The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, a rocket-powered jet with speeds of up to 700mph, was the fastest jet in the War by a difference of over 250mph.

The plane’s immense speed was so far ahead of its competitors, in fact, that it was fast enough to avoid Allied gunners but it was too fast to hit Allied aircraft.

By The Independant

Glamour model Tila Tequila has been removed from UK’s Celebrity Big Brother house after posting “totally unacceptable” views on social media, Channel 5 said.

The broadcaster said it had been unaware of the “views and attitudes Tila had expressed” before she entered the house on Thursday and her continued involvement in the show was “untenable”.

More than 500 people signed a petition calling for the US TV personality to be evicted after she allegedly posted a series of anti-Semitic remarks online.

A Channel 5 spokesman said last night: “Unfortunately, Channel 5 and Endemol did not know about the views and attitudes Tila had expressed in social media postings prior to her involvement in Celebrity Big Brother.

“When they were brought to our attention, she was called to the Diary Room for a discussion with producers and was subsequently removed from the house.

“The views Tila had expressed, and permitted to remain uncorrected, are totally unacceptable and, accordingly, her continued involvement in the programme was untenable.”

Jewish leaders had called for the Playboy model, whose real name is Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen, to be removed from the house after she was accused of sharing a series of offensive posts online.

Jonathan Sacerdoti, from the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, said Channel 5 should “apologise fully for their enormous error of judgement”.

A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: “She should never have got anywhere near a programme on British television.”

Nguyen, 33, was one of 13 contestants in the 16th series of Celebrity Big Brother, which started on Thursday.

The mother-of-one, who was born in Singapore to Vietnamese parents, is best known for her bisexual-themed dating show, A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila.

She previously hit the headlines when her diabetic heiress fiancee Casey Johnson died in 2010 and when she had a sex tape released without her consent the following year.

By JewishNews Online

President Obama told the editor of an influential Jewish publication that “there’s not a smidgen of evidence” that he is anti-Semitic, hospital a charge some critics have leveled as the president defends the Iran nuclear deal.

Jane Eisner, health editor-in-chief of The Forward, buy used her 45 minutes in the Oval Office Friday (Aug. 28) to ask Obama to respond to critics of the deal, which has divided the Jewish community — and also what she called “a more personal question.”

“Does it hurt you personally when people say that you’re anti-Semitic?”

“Oh, of course,” he told Eisner. “And there’s not a smidgen of evidence for it, other than the fact that there have been times when I’ve disagreed with a particular Israeli government’s position on a particular issue.”

In addition to the interview with The Forward, Obama spoke with Jewish American leaders via a separate video webcast watched live by more than 5,000 YouTube users on Friday.

“Apparently we were able to find one venue we have not already used” to lobby for the Iran deal, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

Though American Jews are divided over the deal, Israeli Jews largely oppose it, polls show. Earlier this year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress and argued that Iran could not be trusted. Congress is expected to vote on the deal in September.

Discussing the vitriolic rhetoric supporters and opponents of the deal have lobbed at each other, Eisner told Obama that “even some of his supporters say that he has contributed to the incendiary language by implying that opponents of the deal are ‘warmongers.’”

“He rejected that outright,” Eisner wrote. “It was the only time during our interview that I saw him bristle and his back stiffen.”

Obama’s use of the term “warmonger” has offended some who note age-old anti-Semitic conspiracy theories charging Jews as conniving forces behind war.

“What I said,” Obama explained to Eisner, “is that if we reject the deal, the logical conclusion is that if we want to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, military strikes will be the last option remaining at some point. It may not be under my administration; it might be under the next one. And that is something that has to be taken into account.”

Obama also likened the current chill between him and Netanyahu to a family spat, reaffirmed the historically strong alliance between the U.S. and Israel, and predicted that tensions over the deal would dissipate as the deal itself proved itself the best strategy to assure that Iran does not build a nuclear weapon.

The president received tough but respectful questioning from the moderators of the Friday YouTube webcast, which included leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America.
By Deseret News

As river levels in Poland fall to record lows in a prolonged drought, decease Jewish tombstones and a Soviet fighter plane with the remains of its pilots have been found in the riverbank, evidence of Poland’s tortured 20th-century history.

Those discoveries follow the findings of stone fragments from the early 20th-century Poniatowski bridge across the Vistula river in Warsaw, which the Germans blew up in 1944 as they crushed the Warsaw uprising. The bridge was rebuilt after the war.

“The Vistula river is hiding no end of secrets. They are everywhere,” said Jonny Daniels, head of the Jewish foundation From the Depths, who waded into a shallow area of the Vistula on Tuesday, picking up fragments of stones with Hebrew lettering.

Officials knew that archaeological remnants were hidden under the wild and murky waters of the Vistula and its tributaries, but it had been impossible to search for them until now. The Vistula, which flows 1047km (651 miles) from the Beskidy Mountains to the Baltic Sea, is now at its lowest level since measurements started in the late 18th century.

On Sunday explorers found the remnant of the Soviet fighter plane in the Bzura river, a Vistula tributary, near the village of Kamion in central Poland. The pieces have been moved to a museum in nearby Wyszogród. More recovery work is planned for Saturday.

The head of the museum, Zdzis?aw Leszczy?ski, said parts of Soviet uniforms, a parachute, a sheepskin coat collar, parts of boots, a pilot’s TT pistol and radio equipment and a lot of heavy ammunition were found. The inscriptions on the control panel and the radio equipment are in Cyrillic.

It is all part of the devastating war that played out across Poland between 1939 and 1945: a German invasion from the west, a Soviet invasion from the east, the murder of Jews across occupied Poland and fighting between the Soviets and Germans after Adolf Hitler turned on former ally Josef Stalin.

Leszczy?ski said witnesses saw the plane being hit while flying low in January 1945. It crashed through the thick ice into the river. At the time, the German army was retreating toward Berlin before the Red army’s advance.

“Until now, the water level did not allow for the search and there was no one willing to enter this swamp,” he said.

A Russian embassy spokeswoman, Valeria Perzhinskaya, said the discovery was important and believed the crew could be identified – by the numbers on the wreckage – and properly buried. About 600,000 Soviet troops were killed fighting the German army on Polish territory.

The Jewish tombstones found in Warsaw are believed to come from the Bródno cemetery in the Polish capital’s Praga district. Once the resting place for 300,000 Jews, only 3,000 tombstones remain. The rest were removed during and after the war, used as building materials and to reinforce the Vistula’s banks.

Two weeks ago a man walking along the river in Warsaw came across fragments of the tombstones with Hebrew lettering. On Tuesday he took Daniels there. In the meantime, some had already been removed, although a few fragments were still lying on the riverbed.

Now Daniels hopes to take students there to do a more thorough search and return anything he can find to the cemetery.

“Jewish history is buried in the Vistula,” he said.


Seven decades after the end of WWII, malady research by a French Catholic priest has finally uncovered the devastating truth about the carnage inflicted by Nazis against the Jews during Ukraine’s “Holocaust of Bullets.”  reports that what started out as genealogical research for Father Patrick Desbois, turned out to be a fact finding mission during which, for the first time, local villagers in the Polish-border region of Rava Ruska opened up about the atrocities they witnessed towards Jews at the hands of the Nazis.

The accounts of torture, rape, dehumanization, and mass murder included in Father Debois’ research spell some of the most gruesome accounts documented to date, while dispelling many ‘official’ accounts of the events documented in Ukranian history.

According to his research, some 2,000 mass Jewish graves have to date been uncovered, but with a sense of urgency Debois insists that there may be as many as 6,000 yet to be unearthed.

“The challenge is to collect the maximum amount of evidence about the killing of the Jews in these countries and find out about the mass graves,” Debois said.  “Tomorrow the witnesses will disappear and the deniers will overreact, saying that the Jews falsified the story.”


A Spanish music festival has reversed a decision to cancel a concert by a Jewish-American singer after the ban sparked outrage and formal condemnation from the Spanish government.

The Rototom Sunsplash on Wednesday publicly apologized to reggae singer Matisyahu, an American-born artist who is ethnically Jewish, and invited him to perform, as originally scheduled, at the festival’s main stage on Aug. 22.

The Rototom festival uninvited Matisyahu after he declined to give his public support for a Palestinian state. The decision was widely condemned in Spain and beyond and, on Wednesday, the Spanish government formally chastised Rototom organizers, calling the decision an “act that violates the conscience” and “put into question the principle of non-discrimination.”

In a statement on Wednesday, the Rototom festival apologized, saying it “rejects anti-Semitism and any form of discrimination towards the Jewish community; we respect both their culture as religious beliefs, and we sincerely apologize for what has occurred.”

The festival said it bowed under what it called a campaign of “pressure, coercion and threats” employed by pro-Palestinian group the BDS, which had called for Matisyahu to be banned from the festival. The BDS is an activist group that calls for wide-ranging boycotts against Israel for the country’s actions in the Palestinian territories. The BDS campaigned against Matisyahu, accusing him of being anti-Palestinian.

In a post on his Facebook page, Matisyahu called it “appalling and offensive” that he was put under pressure to air his political views. The singer is not known for his strong political stances and has in the past been careful not to address politics, particularly the Israeli-Palestine situation. He has repeatedly said he wants his music to be non-political and accessible to all.

The Spanish media is often openly critical of Israeli policies see last year’s open letter from Spanish celebrities, including Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, which denounced Israel’s incursion into Gaza last year as “genocide.”

But the country’s major political parties and much of the Spanish press have sharply criticized the decision to boycott Matisyahu.

An editorial in leading Spanish newspaper El Pais called the cancelation “unacceptable discrimination … Anti-Semitism and discrimination on the grounds of ideology cannot be tolerated and must be stood up to. Criticism of Israel’s policies and defense of the Palestinians cannot be used as cover for systematic persecution of those who hold different views, or because they are Jewish.”

By Scott Roxborough – The Hollywood Reporter

Reports of a recently discovered Nazi train filled with lost treasure could trigger a massive reversal of fortune, prescription as an art group readies itself for the possibility of reconnecting Jewish families and heirs with stolen art, medical gold and other valuables.

Two men claim to have discovered a legendary train in Poland that was rumoured to have disappeared into a network of secret tunnels in May 1945 as the Germans retreated near the end of World War II.

According to local lore, the train was loaded with a trove of precious gems, priceless art and gold when it slipped into the mountains.

Polish authorities are taking the claim seriously. Marika Tokarska, an official in the southwestern Polish district of Walbrzych, told the Associated Press, “We believe that a train has been found.”

As officials work to verify the train’s existence, Mary Kate Cleary of the London-based Art Recovery Group says her group is preparing for the possible chance to reconnect families with decades-old stolen property.

“The Nazis were notorious plunderers of art, cultural property and other valuables,” Cleary told CTV News Channel Thursday afternoon.

“They would engage in a systematic campaign to dispossess particularly Jewish communities and other enemies of the Nazi regime of their property.”

Trains were typically used to transport the stolen property back to the German Reich, Cleary said. The supposed discovery is said to have been made in an area of Poland that formerly belonged to Germany.

“If this train was one of those such trains, then it would contain materials from Eastern European countries, possibly dispossessed from Jews, victims of the Holocaust,” Clearly said.

If that’s the case, Cleary hopes her organization will work to return the property to their rightful owners.

“We would hope that if these objects are in fact from victims of Nazi persecution … that they could be identified and we at our recovery group, in addition to other organizations, could work to identify these objects and get them back to the victims or their heirs.”

According to officials, the two men who supposedly discovered the train, a German and a Pole, have hired lawyers and requested 10 per cent of the value of the train’s property in return for sharing its location.

Local authorities have already begun discussing a safe plan to reach the train if it is indeed found. They are concerned that latent explosives or underground methane gas could add a degree of peril to the mission.

With files from the Associated Press and CTV News Channel

World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder on Sunday expressed “outrage” and “utter bewilderment” at news that a music festival in Spain had disinvited American Jewish musician Matisyahufor failing to sign a pro-Palestinian declaration.

“This is a clear instance of anti-Semitism, and nothing else,” Lauder said in a statement, urging Spanish authorities “to condemn this sad incident and to take appropriate action those responsible for it.”

News media reported on Sunday that the appearance of Matisyahu was canceled by the organizers of the Rototom Sunsplash festival, which will take place next weekend in Benicàssim, in eastern Spain, following pressure from the anti-Israel BDS movement.

“Matisyahu is an American Jew. More importantly, like everybody else in a free and democratic society, he not only has a right to express his views – whether you agree with them or not — but he also has every right not to have the repugnant views of the festival organizers imposed on him. He is a musician who has been denied the opportunity to play his planned gig at a European reggae festival purely because he is Jewish and because he refuses to side with the vicious and bigoted BDS movement,” Lauder said.

“And to the people of Spain, I say this: Being a ‘Zionist’ and supporting Israel has nothing to do with supporting apartheid. Rather, it is about supporting democracy, the rule of law, freedom, openness and diversity,” he continued.

“The Rototom Sunsplash festival benefits from financial support from public authorities. I very much hope that they will convey a clear message to the organizers that either they re-invite Matisyahu and apologize for their outrageous behavior, or they pay back that financial aid, because anti-Semitism and racism must not be rewarded by public support – not in Spain, and not anywhere else,” added Lauder.

Matisyahu – who shot to fame as a bearded “hassidic reggae” star, before leaving Orthodox Judaism in 2011 – maintains a strong sense of Jewish identity, and is an unashamed supporter of the State of Israel – a fact that drew ire from anti-Israel boycott campaigners from the Valencian branch of the BDS movement.

The boycotters claimed he supported “an apartheid state which practicesethnic-cleansing,” according to Spain’s El Pais daily, and demanded the festival cancel his appearance.

By Israel National News