Page last updated at 09:36 GMT, Friday, 12 September 2008 10:36 UK

Sir Paul defiant on Israel show

Sir Paul McCartney
In 1965 the Israeli government pulled a Beatles concert

Sir Paul McCartney has insisted his first show in Israel will go ahead, despite pressure from campaigners who want him to cancel it.

The 65-year-old will perform some of his biggest Beatles and solo hits at the Tel Aviv gig later this month.

But protesters asked him to reconsider over Israel's occupation of the West Bank and its Gaza Strip blockade.

He told newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth: "I refused. I do what I think, and I have many friends who support Israel."

'Insulting'

The Israeli government pulled a Beatles concert in 1965 on the grounds it could corrupt the nation's youth.

When asked how the band members felt about the decision, he said it was "a bit insulting".

We are planning to have a great time and a great evening. We can't wait to get out there and rock
Sir Paul McCartney

He added: "The Beatles had a pretty positive influence on the world and only regimes that wanted to control their peoples were afraid of us.

"We mostly laughed at the Israeli government decision."

Earlier this year, Israel's ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor, apologised to The Beatles during a trip to Liverpool.

In a statement confirming the concert on McCartney's website last month, he 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 can't wait to get out there and rock."




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