Gene Simmons of Kiss, who was born in Israel is an outspoken opponent of the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement, who try to keep an international event from taking place in Israel.
The winner of the international music event gets to host the next year’s contest. So far, no major stars have withdrawn from the contest, despite pressure from other artists that side with the terrorists over Israel. Simmons, the front man for Kiss says that to let the music flow and forget about the BDS protesters.
He is a very outspoken conservative and a shrewd businessman as well, making his bandmates set for life through his dealings.
BDS aims to isolate and delegitimize Israel through non-violent means. It has been criticized for holding Israel to an unfair standard not faced by any other country in the world.
European celebrities on both sides have lined up on either side of the debate. In fact, it’s become something of a Battle of the Bands – with rockers Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, and Brian Eno encouraging boycott; and with Sharon Osbourne, Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun, and Simmons condemning it.
In fact, more than 100 public figures signed a letter last month warning against “subverting the spirit of the contest and turning it from a tool of unity into a weapon of division.” They called for “building bridges through music and the arts as a means to achieving greater understanding and peace in the region.”
Simmons, who was born in Israel, has objected to BDS activists in the past – calling them “fools” who should be boycotting Middle East countries that, unlike Israel, do not allow their people to vote.