Kiss frontman Simmons wants to rock the Holocaust memorials with his Never Again concert

UNITED NATIONS – Gene Simmons, bass player and co-vocalist for iconic rock band Kiss, called for wider recognition of the Holocaust outside of the Jewish community during Thursday’s Genocide Remembrance event at the United Nations.

Simmons’ mother He survived the Nazi death camps In his teens he moved to Israel after the war. Born Chaim Weitz in the northern city of Haifa, Simmons moved to the US as a boy, identifies as Israeli and remains involved In pro-Israel advocacy.

Glam rock was critical It happened Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan, Yad Vashem President Dani Dayan, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres attended UN Headquarters in New York, held the day before Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Simmons said the ceremony was well-intentioned but “boring”, calling on the Jewish community to include other groups in their Holocaust awareness and activities.

“We have to connect the Jewish Holocaust with all the hate going on all over the world throughout history,” he told The Times of Israel on the sidelines of the event, proposing a multi-ethnic music event.

“No one wants to be preached if you have Holocaust remembrance events, concerts, music, a ‘never again’ music festival – great idea – where people of all nationalities, all creeds, all religions, all skin colors come together, ” He said. “You buy a ticket, you go to charities and of course Yad Vashem and other organizations to try and stop this hate.”

“We should have U2 out there, people who mean something,” he said. “Who says it is more important than what he says.”

Gene Simmons of Kiss performs at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, August 29, 2019. (Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

He also linked the Holocaust to other expressions of hate and discrimination, including the war in Ukraine. Many Jewish groups describe the Holocaust as an event unique in scope and intent and have rejected comparisons with other tragedies. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky I directed the fire from some MKs last year to compare the Russian invasion to Nazi genocide.

“You have to connect the Ukrainian story to the Holocaust and all the peoples and colors or they won’t care,” Simmons said. “You have an Armenian representative there saying, ‘I abide and feel the pain of the Holocaust because we Armenians lost a million men, women and children at the hands of the Turks.'”

“When Martin Luther King walked into Birmingham, he had a rabbi by his side,” Simmons said. “If you ignore the hatred of someone who is different from you, then guess what, you are next, so we have to look out for each other, share the pain. The Holocaust is not exclusive to the Jews.”

Israel’s envoy to the United Nations Gilad Erdan, left, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, center, and Yad Vashem President Danny Dayan, right, view Holocaust facilities at UN headquarters in New York January 26, 2023. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel ) )

During Thursday’s event at the United Nations, Guterres visited a Yad Vashem facility called “Book of Names” Along with Erdan and Dayan.

The installation contains the names of all 4.8 million identified victims of the Holocaust, and blank pages symbolizing the other 1.2 million deaths.

The UN General Assembly will hold an additional meeting memorial ceremony Friday.

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