The Rolling Stones made sure boycott advocates got “no satisfaction” with their concert last night in Tel Aviv. Fifty thousand fans attended one of the most anticipated concerts in Israel in years, with the legendary rock band explicitly rejecting the request made by Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters that the Stones avoid playing in Israel in solidarity with the anti-Israel boycott movement.
David Horovitz, founding editor of the Times of Israel, described the band’s eventful few days in the Holy Land, culminating in the two-hour concert at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park:
They’d spent some of the day or two before the gig seeing the sights — Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood visiting the Western Wall, Mick Jagger jogging up the coast to Caesarea, Keith Richards proving more elusive — but Mick had evidently been learning some Hebrew, too. Many bands manage an “Erev Tov” (Good evening) and a “Shalom” or two; Jagger spoke more Hebrew than English in the early stages of the show, including “Anachnu Ha’Avanim Ha’Mitgalgalot” (We are the Rolling Stones), “Hokol Sababa?” (All good?), and the unforgettable and frankly inexplicable, “Kanita Na’alayim Ba’Shuk?” (Did you buy shoes in the market?) to Ronnie Wood, who was wearing rather spiffy orange Nikes.
Beyond Jagger’s surprising linguistic skills, the band also showed their respect for the Israeli audience by postponing the beginning of the concert until 9:15 PM, so that religiously observant Jews could attend following the conclusion of the holiday of Shavuot.
Along with Justin Timberlake, who performed in Israel last week, the Rolling Stones are among the first major performers to play in Israel this summer. Scheduled for the next few months are Megadeth, Lana Del Rey, Neil Young, and the Backstreet Boys, and Lady Gaga will perform in September.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are four years older than the State of Israel.
תודה לכולם בישראל על קבלת פנים נפלאה. היתה הופעה אדירה ונזכור אותה תמיד. pic.twitter.com/BwH3QJzdd3
— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) June 5, 2014