NYC venue cancels show by Israeli band because their name, which means 'The Jews,' was too political

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - DECEMBER 16: (L-R) Sam Bettens of Ks Choice, Orit Shahaf & Tom Petrover of Hayehudim and Gert Bettens of Ks Choice perform at Hangar 11 on December 16, 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Guy Prives/Getty Images)

A prominent Israeli rock band that lost one of its crew members during the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks said a New York City venue recently canceled a scheduled concert after learning their group's name means "The Jews." 

The band HaYehudim, which means "The Jews" in Hebrew, said in a statement to Fox News Digital that management at a venue called The Brooklyn Monarch "informed our local booking agent that the event is canceled due to the ‘currently political nature of our band’ and that the club owners prefer to refrain from hosting ‘politically charged events or acts.’"

"Obviously, we were very surprised because we’re not a political band or have any political agenda or controversy. Our message is of peace tolerance, and acceptance," the band said. "Regarding the personal tragedy that hit our band members on October 7th, Guy Iluz, a member of our sound staff was kidnapped to Gaza and later murdered. Guy was a talented engineer and musician, a friend and part of the Hayehudim band family. We miss him tremendously. We have since rescheduled the New York show at a different venue and will perform as planned." 

Fox News Digital reached out to The Brooklyn Monarch for comment but did not hear back before publication. 

The Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey also reacted to the cancelation on X.

"The cancellation by the Brooklyn Monarch music venue of the Israeli band Hayehudim — which literally translates to ‘The Jews’ — is a deeply offensive, anti-Jewish action. Jews are not a political entity — we are a people with a wide range of views," the ADL wrote last week. "We strongly urge Brooklyn Monarch to reverse their disturbing decision." 

Hayehudim, formed in the 1990s by the couple Tom Petrover and Orit Shahaf, has sold over 200,000 albums in Israel and was scheduled to perform at The Brooklyn Monarch as part of an upcoming U.S. tour that includes stops in New York and Los Angeles, according to the Times of Israel. 

The outlet quoted unverified posts on social media of a purported message from The Brooklyn Monarch citing the "political nature of the band’s name" when telling Hayehudim’s representative that, "we as an entertainment space in New York prefer to avoid politically charged events or actions."

In a separate statement obtained by the Times of Israel, the band wrote, "HaYehudim bears its name with pride and always advocates for cultural freedom and the love of humanity. Precisely in this period, we will not give up and will proudly give the concert tour in the United States against all the antisemites."

"In recent weeks, we have experienced serious manifestations of antisemitism in the heart of ‘American progress’ — New York City. It is chilling and painful to hear about cancellations of shows by a band that has been creating Israeli-Jewish rock for almost 30 years, due solely to the fact that they are Jewish," the band added. 

This is not the first time the band has faced adversity over its name. In 2015, they had a similar issue when they were scheduled to perform at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, the band told the Jerusalem Post at the time. 

"We were told we couldn’t call ourselves ‘The Jews’ and that we’d just get ourselves into a whole lot of trouble with it," guitarist and singer Tom Petrover told the Post, "so we chose the initials I.U.D.M. It was the best thing we could come up with that sounded like our actual name."