“People say, don’t disgrace your father’s name by going to Israel and all these type of things,” Marley said at a press conference in Tel Aviv in 2011. “What I tell them is that, listen, I follow nature, I follow the universe, I follow God. I’m not a part of the segregation that people put on each other … I’m a part of nature and God, and God made the sun shine for everybody.”
Marley’s wife, Orly Agai, is an Israeli, and their three children reportedly speak Hebrew. “Rastafarianism has a lot to do with the Old Testament and Solomon and David and Moses, so we have a strong connection from many years back,” Marley said.
As such, it didn’t entirely come as a shock when Marley spoke of Israel with sincere admiration last week while accepting the Shalom Peace award from the Jewish National Fund (JNF), as first reported by IsraelyCool. Marley, who is involved in several philanthropic endeavours when he’s not making music, said he would always support Israel, “no matter what anybody says or does.”
“I’ve been connected to Israel from when I was a child. Through my father, my mother, we have a strong belief in the history,” he said. “If you’ve heard of my father…you’ve heard of exodus….We are strongly connected to the history of Israel and feel a very spiritual and personal connection to that land and the people of that land. So this is an honour and a blessing and we will continue to have that connection no matter what anybody says or does and continue to support Israel.”