Saturday, 22 October 2016


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The Rolling Stones, led by front-man Mick Jagger, played an Israel gig. The Rolling Stones, led by front-man Mick Jagger, played an Israel gig. Photo: Cordon Press.

Legendary rock band The Rolling Stones have played their first ever Israel gig – despite being urged to cancel it over the country’s alleged human rights abuses. The rockers resumed their world tour last week after postponing it following the suicide of front-man Mick Jagger’s partner L’Wren Scott.


On Monday, the band arrived in Tel Aviv ahead of last night's show, with Israeli organisers and media branding the concert a "historic visit".

According to media reports, band promoter Shuki Weiss, who was once quoted as saying he would retire after bringing the Stones to Israel, guaranteed the band £4m for the one-night show at Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park.

The band had met with widespread criticism and demands to cancel. They faced pressure from pro-Palestinian activists, including fellow rock stars, to cancel the gig as part of a boycott of Israel over alleged human rights abuses.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) committee asked the band to abandon the concert. The group noted that the rockers had been vocal opponents of racial segregation in South Africa, comparing apartheid to Israel's policies towards the Palestinians.

Back in March, when the concert date was announced, BDS said: "Palestinian organisations urge the Rolling Stones to refrain from playing in apartheid Israel and not to condone Israel's violations of international law and human rights against the Palestinian people."

Stars including Pink Floyd founders Roger Waters and Nick Mason joined calls for a boycott.

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