December 20, 2007, - 10:36 am

Phil Collins, Israel & Anti-Semitism

By Debbie Schlussel
Yesterday, after I posted the videos of Genesis’ “Turn It On Again,” yesterday, and extolled the virtues and talents of lead singer Phil Collins, I received a number of inquiries from Jewish readers regarding rumors that have long swirled about Collins in the Jewish community.
When I was a kid, I heard the story that at a Genesis concert in Great Britain, Collins asked all of the Jewish attendees to leave because he supports the Palestinians. And there are other incarnations of the story, alleging that he gave money to the P.L.O., etc. Because of these rumors, many Jews believe Phil Collins is anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and pro-P.L.O. But while I never knew whether or not the stories were true, I looked into them a while ago, and I believe they are urban legends. That’s why I had no qualms about praising Genesis and Colins and posting its videos.


(No, I did not check the fallacious Snopes, which needs to be Snoped, itself. They get so many things wrong, and I’m not sure who appointed these liberals at that site King of the Truth. They ain’t.)
In October, just after the Genesis reunion tour hit Detroit, I saw my friend, Rolling Stones and Billboard writer and rock critic, Gary Graff, at a roundtable interview of Jerry Seinfeld. Gary is Jewish, and I told him about these stories. He’d probably know about them, if they were true. He said he thought they were preposterous and that Collins has a lot of Jewish staffers, something which I already knew from this announcement of the Genesis reunion tour, where many Genesis PR and tour officials identify themselves as Jews. (That, however, doesn’t prove a thing, since Jews are often the first to embrace pan-Islamist apologism.)
I have checked and checked, and I could never find anything confirming any of the stories about Collins’ alleged anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment. But I did find this: In 2005, after years of major recording artists cancelling concerts in Israel because of Palestinian terrorism and security issues, Phil Collins was the first to announce a major concert appearance there. His announcement spurred lots of other major artists to follow suit and was a huge coup for Israel after years of Passover Massacres, blown up pizza shops, cafes, and bars, and countless other Palestinian mass-murders there.
True, it was Collins’ first performance ever in Israel, and it’s curious why he and/or Genesis never appeared in the State before in their decades-long career of international concert tours. Still, if he truly hated Jews and Israel, I doubt he’d perform there now and be the pioneer in doing so, post-9/11. It’s hard to believe–even with alimony payments to three ex-wives and child support for many of his progeny–that Phil Collins suddenly became that hard up for money in 2005 that he suddenly gave up a long-running hatred for Israel (if one truly existed) in order to perform there.
Also, there is a well-known Phil Collins–not the same guy as the Genesis lead singer–who is also British. He is a pro-Palestinian, pan-Islamist photographer and videographer, whose exhibits are very anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian. And that may be a source of the confusion. (Some of his amateurish pro-Palestinian videos are up on YouTube.)
And then there’s this discussion from IsraellyCool, which appears to debunk the whole set of rumors as myth, including a purported report from Phil Collins’ agent.
Based on all of this information, I have to conclude that the allegations against Phil Collins are mythical and false. And if that’s the case, I’m glad.
Fred Taub of Boycott Watch said he, too, hasn’t been able to find anything to confirm the rumors about Phil Collins, but he’s looking into it further. If you know otherwise or have any information on this, please share it with us.

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17 Responses

“No, I did not check the fallacious Snopes, which needs to be Snoped, itself. They get so many things wrong, and I’m not sure who appointed these liberals at that site King of the Truth. They ain’t.”
I’m sure glad I’m not the only one to notice this trend at snopes. They have alot of “truths” concerning the vilification of GWB and alot of “false” concerning the Clintons.

RadicalRightWinger on December 20, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Interesting column, Debbie. Can you recommend an alternative to
Also, on the subject of “Is he or is he not and anti-Semite?” AP just reported yesterday what the blogosphere has been reporting for weeks: Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign has received a $500 donation from neo-Nazi Don Black. Paul’s campaign has publicly gone on record saying they will not return the money.
While Ron Paul may not be an anti-Semite, it appears he’s everything an anti-Semite and white supremacist could want in the White House: a morally blind leader.
I’m curious as to your opinion regarding Ron Paul. I realize I’m changing the subject.

There is NO Santa Claus on December 20, 2007 at 1:09 pm

Has anyone thought of just asking Mr. Collins his opinion of the Israel/Palestinian issue?

Esbiem on December 20, 2007 at 2:31 pm

Debbie, I heard that same story except it was supposedly Getty Lee at a Rush concert. Since he is a Jew and the son of Holocaust survivors, I never believed it. Also, I think that Pete Townshend likes the Jews.

Anonymous1 on December 20, 2007 at 10:48 pm

This is absolutely false. Please, have a look on that link. There is the reply from Phil Collins about that rumour that has been published on his official website.
Thank you
Wednesday, 17th December
From Annie Callingham:
Phil recently received a letter and is so concerned about the contents and implications that he has replied and has requested that both are posted on the website for other people to read.
To read these letters, please click here

Veroblue on January 14, 2008 at 7:22 am

hey thanks for this bit.
i was humming a genesis song when i stopped b/c of fears of being a supporter of a plo lover, i googled it and found your words.
great, thanks for clearing this up.

Shai Canaan on November 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm

I have never heard any of these rumors until last year. I have never once thought Phil Collins was racist or bigoted in any way. It seems like everybody was in a hurry to say bad stuff about him in regards to his hair,height,music. His music is far better than most of the rubbish out nowadays. I have been a fan of his since 1982,when I was in high school.

Maria Schatz on July 21, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Collins and Genesis rightly so never supported hideous Israel – Collins’ one and only concert was in an air of reconciliation – since then and in particular the particularly hideous child killing regime of Israel (including operation protective Edge) he has not played a single note – Genesis have never played in note in that dark rabid country – indeed Gabriel condemns Israel wholeheartedly as does Roger Waters of Pink Floyd – one of the reasons I enjoy the humanity of their music

Brad Evans on July 17, 2017 at 2:41 pm

How could Phil Collins possibly be anti-Semitic?!?
He married a woman who had Jewish blood! or half at least. According to Phil married Jill Tavelman whose Father was Ashkenazi Jewish! And 28 years they had their beautiful daughter who is the talented actress and beautiful model Lily Collins. Who knows maybe one day she’ll follow in her Father’s footsteps and become a singer!… You never know. 🙂

Sickle And Hammer on July 21, 2017 at 6:55 am

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