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Israeli Band Forced to Cancel Show Over Jewish Name

It’s never easy to be a Jew, but right now, it’s especially tough to be an Israeli band called Ha Yehudim – Hebrew for The Jews – and they have just had a New York show canceled.

The hard-rock band, also known as I.U.D.M., which is planning an American tour next month, just got word from the Brooklyn Monarch, a hipster club in Williamsburg, that their scheduled May show will not go on.

The reason, according to the club’s management, is that the band’s name is too politically provocative. According to a message on the band’s Instagram and reports in Israeli media, the band received a message Tuesday that said, “I am very sorry, but we cannot host your event. My partners have gotten back to me concerning . . . the political nature of your headlining band, and we, as an entertainment space in New York City, prefer to refrain from politically charged events or acts.” The news website N12 reported that another performance that Ha Yehudim planned to hold in New York was also canceled for the same reason.

The band’s public relations director, Shir Pinto, said, “In the last few weeks, the band Ha Yehudim has experienced serious manifestations of anti-Semitism that is at the heart of . . . New York City. It’s chilling and painful to hear about cancellations of shows by the band that has been creating Jewish Israeli rock for almost 30 years exclusively due to being Jewish. The band carries its name with pride and always advocates for cultural freedom and human love. Especially during this period, the band does not give up and will proudly tour the United States against all antisemitism.”

The cancellation seems to contradict the inclusive message the Brooklyn Monarch features on its website: “All In This Together. . . We prioritize the community in all our endeavors and are dedicated to supporting and expanding the local music scene.”

Hillel Wachs, an Israeli concert promoter, commented, “The band’s name in these politically charged times is certainly not ideal. That being said, no real reason to cancel the show. Either it sells tickets or not. I assume the club thinks it’s a hot potato and regrets the headache they have brought upon themselves by agreeing to book the show. A sign of the times.”