Ian Anderson, the lead vocalist in the British rock band Jethro Tull, announced that he would donate the revenue from his last three shows in Israel to Shatil, the executive branch of the New Israel Fund and to the Polyphony Foundation, a human rights organization which fosters ties between Arabs and Jews.
“I believe this will give hope to a younger generation and fulfill the values of a communal life,” said the leader of the veteran group in an announcement made in his name. The donation to Shatil and the NIF, it says, will be given as part of his support of human rights, while his donation to Polyphony will be given for its activities in bringing together Jews and Arabs in Israel through classical music.
Anderson, who is known for his unique style of playing the flute, performed while standing on one foot, is in the midst of a worldwide tour commemorating 50 years since the band’s formation. He performed in Jerusalem on Sunday night at the International Conference Center. On Saturday he performed at Tel Aviv’s Heichal HaTarbut concert hall and last Thursday he gave a show at Haifa’s Congress Center.
Mickey Gitzin, the New Israel Fund’s director, said in response that “we are happy and excited to receive a donation by Ian Anderson, together with the Polyphony Foundation, and we thank him warmly. His support for the work we do is an important statement by an international performing artist, showing a deep commitment. We encourage other international artists to come to Israel, excite the local audience and contribute to the pursuit of human rights, equality and democracy.”
This is not the first time Anderson has donated his income from his many performances in Israel to organizations that support Jewish-Arab coexistence. In 2010, even though the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement asked him to cancel his shows here, he declared that he preferred holding them and contributing his revenues to civic organizations that promote values of peace and fraternity.