KISS Founder: 'Proud Israeli'

KISS singer-musician Gene Simmons says entertainers who participate in a boycott of Israel are “fools.”

Chana Ya'ar, | updated: 10:58

Gene Simmons, founder of KISS
Gene Simmons, founder of KISS
Israel news photo: Flickr / Bama Tide

KISS singer-musician Gene Simmons says entertainers who participate in a boycott of Israel are “fools.”

The performer slammed colleagues Elvis Costello and the Pixies, who recently canceled appearances in Israel to protest government policies in Judea and Samaria, as well as vehemently anti -Israel Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, who has organized an anti-Israel boycott.

“The countries they should be boycotting are the same countries [in which] the populations are rebelling,” he said, alluding to the fact that Arabs have no civil rights in their own countries and are rioting to get them, whereas they do have rights in Israel.

Simmons, who founded the wildly successful rock band KISS 40 years ago, is a native of Israel. He called his current visit to the Jewish State a “homecoming.” Speaking in Jerusalem this week, the 61-year-old legendary bassist told the Associated Press, “I'm Israeli. I'm a stranger in America. I'm an outsider. I was born here and I'm proud of it.”

Born Chaim Witz, Simmons lived in Tirat HaCarmel before moving at age eight with his mother, a Holocaust survivor, to the United States. He quoted her telling him that “every day above ground is a good day.” He remembered his father, a carpenter, serving in the IDF reserves, toting an assault rifle to the base on weekends, and his own activities selling sabra fruit from local cacti. From base poverty, Simmons today is worth tens of millions of dollars. He is in Israel as part of his reality show, “Gene Simmons Family Jewels.” 




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