Macca threatened by extremists over Israeli concert

September 24th, 2008 - 2:45 pm ICT by ANI  

Paul McCartney

London, Sept 24 (ANI): English rock singer Sir Paul McCartney has been threatened by extremists following the announcement that he will be holding a concert in Israel on September 25.

It has been more than four decades since The Beatles were banned from playing in Israel, for fear that they would corrupt the country’’s youth, and things have not changed much.

McCartney has been warned by both Arab and Jewish extremists against going ahead with his Friendship First concert in Israel.

Omar Bakri Mohammed, a radical Islamist cleric based in Lebanon after being banned from Britain, has warned McCartney that he will earn the enmity of the Muslim world for playing the gig in Tel Aviv as part of the celebrations to mark Israel’’s 60th birthday.

According to him, if McCartney proceeded with the show, suicide bombers could attack the gig in protest against the singer’’s patronage of Israel.

He declared McCartney to be the enemy of every Muslim.

If he values his life, Mr McCartney must not come to Israel. He will not be safe there. The sacrifice operatives will be waiting for him, Times Online quoted the hard-line preacher as telling the Sunday Express.

Itamar Ben Gvir, a prominent right-wing activist, and his followers have threatened to cause a riot to protest against what they perceive as British anti-Semitism.

We are going to disrupt McCartney’’s concert on Thursday. We will spread a public appeal calling people to join us, he said.

We are going to create a balanced formula whereby British people who come here will suffer, just as Israelis suffer in Britain when they are being threatened and condemned by anti-Semitic elements.

It cannot be that Mr Lev Leviev will suffer threats to his life in Britain, while Mr McCartney will come here and get the honour of being treated like a star, he had added.

But the singer is not taking any of the threats seriously, even though he was said to be shocked but not intimidated by the comments.

I was approached by different groups and political bodies who asked me not to come here. I refused. I do what I think and I have many friends who support Israel, he had said.

The concert is expected to draw as many as 50,000 people despite the steep ticket prices, with the cheapest ticket being sold for 77 pounds and the most expensive almost 800 pounds. (ANI)

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