Latin love machine Julio Iglesias has just dished to The Jerusalem Post that he is Jewish “from the waist up.”
The 70-year-old singer is not, in fact, some kind of Semitic centaur — he just skipped a certain traditional rite of passage. (Oh, you got that right away? Sorry — took us a minute to process. Actually, we’re still processing.)
“I’ve known my whole life about my family’s Jewish past, there were lots of conversations in my house about the Inquisition and about Sephardim,” the Madrid native said. “My mother’s name — de la Cueva y Perignat — was a very Jewish name.”
This might explain his frequent visits to Israel. Following his performances there in 2009 and 2001, he played Israel again this past summer, and has a Tel Aviv concert booked for November 24.
“The world understands that Jews are a race that use their customs and character to make the world a better place,” Iglesias said. “And when I’m in Israel, I see something completely unique taking place. I see a very strong Jewish country and I see Spanish Jews, Russians, Argentineans all with one motivation — to keep Israel safe. And that touches my heart.”