Israel said planning to apologize to ex-Beatles for '65 concert ban
More than four decades after Israeli officials banned the Beatles from appearing at a scheduled 1965 concert, Israel is to extend the band an official apology on onday, and invite surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to take part in celebrations of the nation's 60th anniversary this year, Army Radio reported.
It said Israeli Ambassador to Britain Ron Prosor would present the apology to slain Beatle John Lennon's sister Julia Bairdat at the Beatles museum in their hometown of Liverpool.
Letters of apology are to be sent to McCartney and Starr as well as relatives of late band members John Lennon and George Harrison, it said.
The Beatles had been booked to appear in Israel, but government officials refused to grant the necessary permits, citing concerns that the tousled-haired British band and its strident, amplified music could corrupt the morals of Israeli youth.
The never-used tickets for the concert have long been a prized souvenir among Israeli fans of the group.
In Jerusalem, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel confirmed that Prosor would meet Baird and invite her to Israel for the gala marking Israel's founding in May, 1948. But he said he had no knowledge of any letter of apology or of invitations to Paul and Ringo to perform.
What could have been ...