Shin Bet nixed Cliff Richard song dedication to Sara Netanyahu

Security agency scuttles British rocker's wish to toast PM's wife during concert opener to secure couple's presence at performance.

August 8, 2013 18:47
1 minute read.
PM Netanyahu and wife Sara greet UK rocker Cliff Richard

PM Netanyahu and Sara greet Cliff Richard 370. (photo credit: Koby Gideon/GPO)


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The Shin Bet’s long arm reaches far. Last month it scuttled British rocker Cliff Richard’s desire to dedicate a song to Sara Netanyahu at his Tel Aviv concert.

It emerged this week that Richard had asked to dedicate his hit song “Living Doll,” the first song of the Nokia Arena concert, to the wife of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

However, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) denied the request, not because of objection to the lyrics – “Got myself a crying, talking, sleeping, walking, living doll” – but because it did not want to tip off the audience to the Netanyahu couple’s presence at the concert. This was Richard’s first performance in Israel in some 25 years.

Netanyahu and his wife hosted the 72-year-old musician for dinner at their Jerusalem residence four nights before the show. The British rock legend apparently enjoyed himself, writing a note to Netanyahu that it was the “icing on the cake of our visit.”

“You charmed us, you fed us and you and your delightful wife were perfect hosts,” Richard wrote in the handwritten note, before asking the prime minister to “give Sara a huge hug on my behalf.”

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