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No, not that one.
Ever since it was announced two weeks ago that Phil Collins was going to perform in Israel, the inevitable “Phil Collins is an anti-Semite/pro-PLO Arab hack” rumor has surfaced.
Despite googling until my little heart’s content, I have come up with zilch concerning Mr Collin’s apparent anti-Semitic or anti-Israel proclivities.
I’ve heard this rumor from numerous people, including several who claimed that they were once Phil Collins fans and that they would never buy his recordings again after he told the Jews to leave his concert, or that he sent money to the PLO. Truth is, as you’ll see below, the real reason not to buy anymore of Phil’s music is that its become shlock over the past 10 years, not because he’s anti-semitic, he’s not.
As the producer of Cleveland Ohio’s longest running Jewish radio program, I had been deluged with versions of the rumor over the years (including one friend who heard that Phil had made the disparaging remarks in a concert in Cleveland). As the rumor grew and grew, I sought answers over a dozen years ago, and posted to the old “Prodigy Network”‘s Genesis-Fan bulletin board asking for information that could confirm the rumor once and for all. Not surprisingly, nobody could offer proof that Collins had ever said anything negative about Jews or Israel, or had any ties to the PLO. In fact, one irate fan dragged out a press release from Genesis’ “We Can’t Dance” tour procaliming that Genesis was proudly using El-Al jets to carry their set and gear around Europe.
Since my friends and others were not content with that, I took the next step and called Atlantic Records (Collins’ label in the US) and spoke to his agent (can’t remember the name now, but it was either Schwartz or Goldberg or Katz, she was obviously Jewish), and asked if she’d heard of the rumor. She claimed that she hadn’t (that may or may not have been true), but offered to get me firsthand knowledge, it seemed that she and Phil would be having dinner together the next night, and she promised to raise the question to him and call back with his response. Phil was flabbergasted by the rumor, and denied any knowledge of the events mentioned. He promised he had never given money to the PLO or any other such group, and that he would never ask anyone to leave his concerts because of their race, religion or color.
Furthermore he pointed out that some of his best friends are Jewish.
So there you have it. Phil Collins is a rabid anti-Semite.