Israel apologizes for Beatles ban

Jan. 28, 2008 at 6:28 PM

JERUSALEM, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Israel's Foreign Ministry has issued a public apology to The Beatles, who were banned from performing in the Jewish state in 1965, it was reported Monday.

Ron Prosor, the Israeli ambassador to Britain, met with Julia Baird, the late John Lennon's sister, at The Beatles museum in Liverpool, England, and offered her an official letter of apology.

The Israeli Embassy in London is expected to make similar gestures to Lennon's surviving former bandmates -- Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr -- and to the family of the late George Harrison, Ynetnews.com said.

"We would like to take this opportunity to rectify a historic missed opportunity, which unfortunately took place in 1965 when you were invited to Israel. Unfortunately, the state of Israel canceled your performance in the country due to lack of budget and because several politicians in the Knesset had believed at the time that your performance might corrupt the minds of the Israeli youth," the letter said.

"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 before the young generation in Israel who admired you and continues to admire you."

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