Now Bob Geldof does like Mondays

Geldof to get another degree - this time in Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, March 25, 2011

Bob Geldof is to make his first trip to Israel to accept an honorary degree from Ben Gurion University.

And the Boomtown Rat, who shot to fame with I Don't Like Mondays, will have to change his tune - because the ceremony is planned for Monday May 30.

The award marks his anti-poverty campaigns such as the Live Aid and Live 8 concerts and his work with a range of charities.

"Sir" Bob - his knighthood is honorary since he is an Irish citizen - will be honoured at the same time as British historian and biographer Sir Martin Gilbert, and businessman Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen.

Nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work increasing global awareness of famine in Africa, he will also attend a conference on humanitarian aid while in Israel.

The "Israel in Africa – Past, Present and Future" event, organised by IsraAID (The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid) will take place in Herzliya.

In 2006 he was given an award for "moral courage" from the Holocaust Museum in Houston. He already has honorary degrees from Newcastle University and the University of East London. Seven years ago it emerged that his grandmother Amelia, who ran a tea shop in Dublin, was Jewish.

He has been involved in Holocaust Memorial Day, speaking at the first one in 2002 about the heroism of Righteous Gentiles, describing them as "giants" for risking their lives to save others.

The following year he launched a genocide-study centre at Nottinghamshire's Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre. But he was attacked for a speech in which he said that "Israel squander[ed] its moral capital daily".

He added that he was daunted by being in the presence of Holocaust survivors and stressed the importance of raising awareness about genocide, adding: "Unless we're confronted with it in the most brutal way, then all those lights of human genius just wink out."

Last updated: 10:05am, March 25 2011