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Stones urged to reconsider their first Israel gig plan Jagger mourns girlfriend Scott at private LA funeral

JERUSALEM, March 26, (AFP): The Rolling Stones announced plans Tuesday for an Israeli concert in June, prompting pro-Palestinian activists promoting a boycott of the country to say that would be equivalent to performing in apartheid South Africa. To jubilation from the Israeli media, a spokeswoman for the British rock icons said the band will perform in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on June 4 as part of its forthcoming European tour. But a spokeswoman for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions committee noted that the Stones had been vocal opponents of racial segregation in South Africa, saying Israel also practices apartheid. “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,”Rafeef Ziadah wrote.

“The Rolling Stones were at the forefront of enforcing a cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa, but performing in Israel at this time is morally equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era.” After months of rumours of an impending first-ever visit by the band, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012, Israeli media were jubilant. “It’s official! The Rolling Stones are coming to Tel Aviv,” proclaimed Haaretz daily’s website. It said Israeli promoter Shuki Weiss, once quoted as saying he would retire after bringing the Stones to Israel, had guaranteed the band $6.7 million (4.9 million euros) for the one-night stand. “Israelis finally get some satisfaction as Rolling Stones confirm concert date,” was the Jerusalem Post’s headline. “This is a historic and very meaningful visit,” it quoted Weiss as saying. “In these days when we hear calls for boycotts from around the world, it’s not taken for granted that a band of this magnitude will come to Israel.”

The Post said Weiss had been trying to tempt the band since 1988. “The longest negotiation I ever conducted is coming to an end,” it quoted him as saying. A growing number of governments and international businesses have said they will not trade with Israeli firms with ties to Jewish settlements, highlighting the creeping success of a Palestinian-led boycott campaign. The movement works to convince them and celebrities to cut ties with Israeli companies active in the occupied Palestinian territories, in a bid to repeat the success of the boycott that ended apartheid in South Africa.
Last week, the Stones postponed their tour of Australia and New Zealand after the suicide of Mick Jagger’s girlfriend L’Wren Scott. But the grieving front man’s songwriting partner of 50 years, Keith Richards, vowed that they will soon be back on stage.

A grieving Mick Jagger bid farewell Tuesday to his fashion designer girlfriend L’Wren Scott, in a private funeral with family and celebrity friends a week after she killed herself. Nicole Kidman, her husband musician Keith Urban and rocker Bryan Adams were among guests for the cremation service at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, media reports said. Former Eurythmics star Dave Stewart played guitar for a rendition of gospel hymn “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” sung by veteran Rolling Stones backing singer Bernard Fowler, said the Rolling Stones frontman’s spokesman. Jagger, 70, who flew to Los Angeles to be close to his daughters last week after postponing a Stones tour of Australia and New Zealand, arrived in a blacked-out SUV at the cemetery, closed for the day.

“A small private gathering of family and close friends attended a funeral service for L’Wren Scott today” at the Hollywood Forever Funeral Home, which is in the cemetery grounds, Jagger’s spokesman said.
Scott, who committed suicide in New York last Monday, was cremated, spokesman Bernard Doherty told AFP after the ceremony. The roughly hour-long service with blessings and prayers included “memories and words of tribute” from Jagger and Scott’s brother Randy Bambrough, he said in a statement.
Also there were talent agent Justinian Kfoury, costume designer Ira M. Hammons-Glass and Adam Glassman, creative director of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine O, the Oprah Magazine.

Poems were read by Jagger’s daughter Karis, as well as actress Ellen Barkin. Another daughter, Jade, read Psalm 139, and the rocker’s grandchildren, Mazie and Zak, read Psalm 23 — “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Karis lives in Los Angeles, while Jagger’s other daughters Elizabeth and Georgia May have also been staying in town to comfort him, according to media reports. The service was held amid tight security at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, the final resting place to generations of celebrities including Jayne Mansfield, Cecil B DeMille, Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks.

Jagger had been with Scott for 13 years. The model-turned-fashion designer was 49. Last Wednesday a coroner confirmed that Scott had hanged herself. The 70-year-old singer has not been seen in public since hearing the tragic news, but in a blog post on his website a day after Scott was found dead he described her as not only his lover but his best friend. “I am still struggling to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way,” he wrote under a post entitled “L’Wren”, featuring a black and white photo of Scott. “I will never forget her.” Last week a spokesman for the late fashion designer hit back at suggestions that her business was in financial trouble before her suicide.

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