Gene Simmons, co-founder of Kiss, has long been one of those rare right-wing rock celebrities…for the most part. He supported George W. Bush and the Iraq War. He then voted for Barack Obama in 2008 – the same year that Donald J. Trump “fired” him after the first three episodes of The Celebrity Apprentice — but he endorsed Mitt Romney four years later, saying America “should be run by a businessman.” He has also been an ardent Trump supporter.
In 2004, Simmons called Islam a “vile culture.” But here’s Simmons speaking two weeks ago at the World Holocaust Remembrance Center’s (Yad Vashem’s) “Salute to Hollywood” benefit, as quoted in The Hollywood Reporter: “Any hate speech directed at any person — different nationality, different culture — is actually a threat to you because you can say, ‘Oh, it’s ‘them.’ You’re next. You’re also a ‘them.’ And I’m a ‘them.’ We’re all ‘them’ to somebody. We better wake up to that idea.”
“We’re a country built on immigrants and survivors,” added Gene Simmons’ daughter Sophie, “and what’s happening right now when we’re closing our doors to that is shocking to me because my family wouldn’t be here. Both my parents are immigrants.”
Indeed, Gene Simmons was born in Israel in 1947 to holocaust survivor Flora Klein, which is why he spoke at the Remembrance Center ceremony – where both mother and son received the group’s Legacy Award. And we’re telling you all this because you can stream the complete event Sunday night, July 2, at 9 pm ET/PT over Jewish Life Television’s (JLTV’s) free live feed.
Keep some tissues on hand. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Rachel Ettlinger, “There wasn’t a dry eye in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel Ballroom as Gene Simmons accepted the Legacy Award on behalf of his mother.”
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