Irish musician and anti-poverty activist Bob Geldof encouraged Israelis to forge new connections with Africa and reject cultural insularity, speaking on Sunday in Herzilya at a conference focusing on Israel’s relationship with the African continent.
The organizer of the Live Aid and Live 8 concerts, which raised global awareness of the plight of Africa’s starving millions, arrived in Israel as a guest of honour of the IsraAID conference on Israeli involvement in Africa: Past, Present and Future.”
Geldof, who first achieved notoriety performing punk music in the late 1970s, and played the leading actor in the 1982 film version of psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd’s The Wall, is best known for organizing musicians to raise funds for Ethiopia during its agricultural crisis of the mid-1980s by recording one of the best-selling records of all time, “Do They Know It’s Christmas.”
Geldof will also be receiving an honorary doctorate from Ben Gurion University during his visit to Israel for his efforts to combat poverty in Africa and worldwide.
“The Jewish people throughout history, famously, have used their intellect and their culture to be open; to absorb, and be absorbed into other cultures, to assimilate, to learn from and to teach,” Geldof said. “That’s what you guys do. Do not be forced into turning away from the world.”