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From paulmccartney.com, August 27, 2008:
Paul McCartney Puts Friendship First In Israel
Music Icon Set To Rock Israel, 43 Years After Ban Historic Friendship First Concert Announced Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv, Israel, 25th September 2008
43 years after being banned by the Israeli government, Paul McCartney today announces his Friendship First concert in Israel. Following months of feverish speculation the wait is finally over as musics most revered star announces that he will be playing in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday 25th September 2008, for the first time ever. This is in keeping with a series of special one-off unique shows that Paul has performed this year in places he has never visited before. Israel will finally get the chance to experience a night of music and history Macca-style; the night they have been waiting decades for.
Paul McCartney holds true the key principals of friendship loyalty and respect and the Friendship First concert is an opportunity for people to celebrate these values whilst having a memorable night of fun and rock n roll.
Looking ahead to his first trip to Tel Aviv, Paul Said, ‘I’ve heard so many great things about Tel Aviv and Israel, but hearing is one thing and experiencing it for yourself is another. We are planning to have a great time and a great evening. We cant wait to get out there and rock.’
Paul McCartney has nearly visited Israel on two previous occasions. The first was with The Beatles at the height of Beatlemania in the mid 60s, however at the time because Israel was short of foreign currency the promoter was unable to raise sufficient funds. After applying to a government committee for help the promoters appeal was declined as it was thought The Beatles might corrupt their youth. Some even believed that artistically The Beatles were not of a high enough standard! The second miss was with Wings in the late 70s, when the shows were cancelled after problems with the venue.
Earlier this year, Israels ambassador to Britain, Ron Prosor, apologised to The Beatles during a trip to Liverpool for the misunderstanding. In a letter he wrote: There is no doubt that it was a great missed opportunity to prevent people like you, who shaped the minds of the generation, to come to Israel and perform. […]
We had played a gig in Israel quite a few years ago, and I wanted to go to Palestine before I went to Israel, because I was very aware of the political situation there. So I didn’t want to just look like I was ignoring Palestine playing in Israel, although that was where the date was, the gig.
So I made arrangements to go into Palestine across the border, and go to a little music school and shake hands with the kids, and hang out and listen to them playing some music. Just to show solidarity with the Palestinian people.
And then when I came back into Israel I then met with some cool people from a group called One Voice, a political group, kind of thing, a movement. And we ended up wearing their badges on our show in Tel Aviv.
So the whole idea was a peace mission, really, because these kids were great. I say kids, they were kind of young adults. And I’d say to them, “what is it? What do you want to do, you know?”. They say “All we want to do is just live in peace, raise our families, you know, and be able to just get on with our lives in peace”. […]Paul McCartney
From MOJO, October 2018:
People Want Peace is his latest attempt to write an ecumenical hymn-cum-anthem, partly inspired by McCartney’s experiences around the controversial decision to play a gig in Tel Aviv in 2008, which some friends had counselled him against. “They said ‘You can’t go’. The trouble is, when you say that to me, it makes me wanna go. I don’t like being told what to do“. He performed while endorsing One Voice, a global initiative supporting Israeli and Palestinian activists who seek a negotiated two-state resolution to the conflict. […]
Last updated on October 28, 2020
Ganey Yehoshua Park
This was the 1st and only concert played at Ganey Yehoshua Park.
Setlist for the soundcheck
Setlist for the concert