Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Israel and the Palestinians: How to Break the Cycle of Violence?

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Somalia : Al Shebab attack on presidential palace

Read more

FOCUS

Sharia law to be enshrined in British legal system?

Read more

ENCORE!

How a comedy dud became one of France's biggest box office hits

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya: Clashes at anti-government rally in Nairobi

Read more

WEB NEWS

ISIS leader challenged over expensive-looking wristwatch

Read more

  • Argentina beat the Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Will Brazil’s bitter foes Argentina salvage Latin American pride?

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Israel pummels Gaza in retaliation for Hamas rocket attacks

    Read more

  • Alps Murder wife had ex-husband who died on same day

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Brazil players should never wear 'sacred uniform' again, press says

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

  • China’s first Tour de France cyclist chases his dream

    Read more

  • Ukraine imposes new conditions on peace talks with pro-Russia rebels

    Read more

  • Sarkozy's UMP party 'almost €80 million in debt'

    Read more

  • Typhoon Neoguri turns deadly as it batters Japanese islands

    Read more

  • Somali forces repel al Shabaab assault on presidential compound

    Read more

McCartney revives Beatlemania in Israel

©

Latest update : 2008-09-26

50,000 fans enjoyed Paul McCartney's first ever concert in Tel Aviv, some 40 years after the Beatles were banned from performing in Israel. Tickets sold for as much as 1,000 euros.

Beatlemania gripped Israel Thursday as Paul McCartney played his first ever concert in the Jewish state, urging some 50,000 rapturous fans to "Give peace a chance."

Four decades after the Fab Four were forced to cancel a gig over official fears they would corrupt the country's youth, Sir Paul performed an outdoor concert in Tel Aviv, defying death threats from an Islamist cleric and calls from pro-Palestinian groups who wanted him to boycott Israel.

The veteran rocker started the gig with a rousing "Shalom Tel Aviv," followed by greetings in Hebrew and Arabic before singing John Lennon's "Give peace a chance."

"Make peace, make peace," he added, slighting distorting a popular hippie-era slogan.

The 66-year-old Peter Pan of rock wowed the audience at Hayarkon Park, some of whom paid as much as 1,000 euros (1,450 dollars) for the privilege, belting out songs interspersed with Hebrew words.

The legendary left-handed bass guitarist's "Magical Mystery Tour" was a lifetime's dream for some like 58-year-old Leora Fried.

"He is so handsome, so thin," she said, struggling to hold back her tears.

"I have been dreaming about this concert for such a long time."

Yanor May, 38, who travelled from the northern city of Haifa for the event, said: "I grew up with the Beatles. It was like seeing a family member."

McCartney had dismissed security fears amid warnings about the concert.

"You have to realise that any high-profile event brings with it some worries," he said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post published on Sunday.

Earlier this month, militant Lebanese cleric Omar Bakri Muhammad was quoted by London's Sunday Express as saying McCartney should not travel to Israel. "He will not be safe there. The sacrifice operatives will be waiting for him."

But McCartney, one of two surviving ex-Beatles along with Ringo Starr, said he hopes his "Friendship First" concert will spread a message of peace.

"It often does happen you know, you'll go to a place and it can affect the audience," he said on his website.

Several pro-Palestinian groups had urged the pop star to boycott Israel because of the way it treats Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.

"I was approached by different groups and political bodies who asked me not to come," McCartney told Israel's top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper. "I do what I think, and I have many friends who support Israel."

McCartney made a surprise trip on Tuesday to the West Bank town of Bethlehem just outside of Jerusalem, where he lit a candle at the Church of the Nativity, built on the traditional site of Jesus's birth.

He also paid a brief visit to the Edward Said Music Conservatory there, where he watched a rehearsal by young Palestinian students.

The British musician had told journalists and fans who greeted him at Ben Gurion airport outside Tel Aviv on Wednesday that he wanted to bring "a message of peace and love" to the Middle East.

The Beatles had planned to play in Israel at the height of Beatlemania in 1965, but they were cancelled after sponsors failed to raise enough money as members of parliament voiced concern they might corrupt young Israeli minds.

Israel's ambassador to Britain Ron Proser apologised for the cancellation earlier this year, calling it "a great missed opportunity" in a letter to the band's surviving members.

McCartney and his entourage have taken up 21 rooms in a luxury hotel on the Mediterranean seashore, where their bill is expected to exceed 100,000 dollars (66,000 euros), media reported.

Date created : 2008-09-26

Comments

COMMENT(S)