Sir Paul’s Missed Opportunity

Israel’s ambassador to Britain said Paul McCartney’s September 25 show in Tel Aviv is his country’s chance to “rectify a historic missed opportunity.”

Earlier in the year, Ron Prosor – who has been at the Israeli embassy in London since 2004 – visited Liverpool and apologised for “a misunderstanding” that goes back 43 years.

He may have prompted this month’s show when he sent letters to McCartney, his fellow surviving Beatle Ringo Starr and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison.

“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,” he wrote. “We missed a chance to learn from the most influential musicians of the decade.”

The Beatles were set to tour Israel in 1965 but were refused entry permits.

The reason given at the time was that the government could not afford the expense, but some reports said David Zarzevski – the country’s education minister at the time – thought a Beatles show would threaten the morals of the nation’s youth.

McCartney is reportedly “desperate” to play the country. The “Friendship First” concert will take place on the open-air site at Hayarkon Park.