Weeks after his concert in Israel, Tom Jones has criticized boycotts of Israel.
“I was in Israel two weeks ago where a lot of singers won’t go (because of the boycott campaign). I don’t agree with that. I think entertainers should entertain. They should go wherever, there shouldn’t be any restrictions. That’s why I went there. I did two shows in Tel Aviv and it was fantastic,” he said.
Sir Tom said: “I wanted to go because the Israeli people have asked me. They would like me to go and sing and I don’t see any problem in doing that. I don’t see why anyone would mix up the two things – entertainment and politics.”
Saying he was “so glad I went”, Sir Tom revealed he’d “definitely” like to perform there again, the UK Jewish News reported. “They’re already talking about it. The promoter that took me out there said we’d like you back next week if we could.”
“I live in Los Angeles and over there the Jewish community does much for charity,” he said. “Of course I’m from Great Britain and I started seeing Jewish charities first hand in the 60s. I’ve always been supportive.”
And he’s not the only crooner showering us with love.
Don’t be surprised if Julio Iglesias soon applies for Israeli citizenship. The celebrated romantic crooner has spent more time in the country than most Knesset members, with two sold-out shows at the Caesaria Amphitheater in August, following similar events in 2009 and 2011, and a return engagement scheduled for November 24 at the Hechal Hatarbut in Tel Aviv.
And according to the 70-year-old romantic balladeer, he’d have no problem immigrating under the Law of Return. Iglesias told his Tel Aviv audience in 2009 that his mother was of Jewish heritage and he was Jewish “from the waist up.” And in a talk with The Jerusalem Post last week from him home in Indian Creek Island, Florida, the native of Madrid, Spain, while not elaborating on that hint of a Jewish ritual not performed, elaborated on his family’s Jewish background.
“I’ve known my whole life about my family’s Jewish past, there were lots of conversations in my house about the Inquisition and about Sephardim,” said Iglesias in heavily accented English. “My mother’s name – de la Cueva y Perignat – was a very Jewish name.”
Iglesias added that he proudly proclaimed his Jewish heritage wherever he goes, and that in turn, he feels strengthened by it, especially when he visits Israel.
“The world understands that Jews are a race that use their customs and character to make the world a better place. And when I’m in Israel, I see something completely unique taking place. I see a very strong Jewish country and I see Spanish Jews, Russians, Argentineans all with one motivation – to keep Israel safe. And that touches my heart.”
“When I’m invited to come back to perform someplace, like I have been to Israel, it’s an amazing privilege for me,” he said. “The people of Israel have given me the opportunity to come back to their country.”
“I was just talking to [tennis star] Rafael Nadal about this – how champions cannot live without passion,” he said. “In Tel Aviv, I’m going to give my passion to the people, because it’s the only way they’ll come back to see you again. Without passion, you don’t have anything.”