Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney performs during a concert in Tel Aviv, Sept. 25, 2008. (AP/Bernat Armangue) (AP/Bernat Armangue)
Paul McCartney in Israel

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Beloved former Beatle Paul McCartney will be honored with the Wolf Prize, a prestigious international award granted in Israel to scientists and artists for achievements in the interest of mankind.

By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff

Famed singer-songwriter and former Beatle Paul McCartney was announced as one of this year’s nine recipients of Israel’s prestigious Wolf Prize.

In announcing the winners, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said, “Together with the prize committee, I and many Israelis share the eternal love for the works of Sir Paul McCartney and the Beatles.”

The five awards, which total $500,000, cover music, agriculture, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. This year’s prize will be divided among nine winners from five countries at a special ceremony to be held at the Knesset at the end of May. McCartney is expected to attend.

“Sir Paul McCartney is one of the greatest songwriters of all time,” the Wolf Foundation said in a statement. “His versatility underlies an extraordinary wingspan, from the most physical rock to melodies of haunting and heartbreaking intimacy. His lyrics have an equally broad range, from the naive and the charming to the poignant and even desperate. He has touched the hearts of the entire world, both as a Beatle and in his subsequent bands.”

McCartney Defied BDS, Ignored Death Threats

McCartney performed in Israel in 2008. He experienced both pressure and death threats ahead of his performance in Israel.

“I got death threats, but I am coming any ways,” he stated. “I was approached by different groups and political bodies who asked me not to come to Israel but I refused. I do what I think. Music is a great international voice for getting people together.”

“I will do my best to speak to Palestinians and Israelis and get an idea of what the solution might be and support that. But my little bit is to bring people together through music,” he said.

In addition to McCartney, the other winners are: Conductor Adam Fischer (music); Prof. Gene Robinson (agriculture; genomics and biology of the honey bee); Prof. Omar Yaghi (chemistry); Prof. Makoto Fujita (chemistry); Profs. Charles Bennett and Giles Brassard (physics; quantum cryptography and teleportation); and Profs. Alexander Beilinson and Vladimir Drinfeld (mathematics and physics).

The Wolf Prize is an international award granted in Israel, that has been presented most years since 1978 to living scientists and artists for “achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among people … irrespective of nationality, race, colour, religion, sex or political views.”

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