Mar 4, 2013

Purim hoax: Rolling Stones 'Israel performance' story reported as real news by a few pundits

Hoax story about Rolling Stones playing in Israel

Mondoweiss has a post about a prank story that ran in the Jewish Press over the Purim holiday. Under the headline - "Defying Boycotts, Jagger, Stones, to Honor Israel's 65th Birthday" - the JPress article makes the hoax claim that the Rolling Stones are scheduled to perform in Israel in April.

A badly photoshopped pic that accompanies the article shows Keith Richards with an arm around Ronnie Wood's shoulder, awkwardly displaying Israel's state symbol.

hoax story about Rolling Stones playing in Israel

The way the article tells it, the Stones got savaged on Twitter and elsewhere for agreeing to perform in Jerusalem in honor of Israel Independence Day:

“We’ve been slammed and smacked and twittered a lot by the anti-Israeli side,” said Mick Jagger, the band’s leader and most recognizable member since 1963. “All I can say is: anything worth doing is worth overdoing. So we decided to add a concert on Tuesday.”

Needless to say, tickets to both concerts, Monday night in Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem and Tuesday night in Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv, have been sold out even as Jagger was speaking.

Some of the over-the-top content in the article by "Yori Yanover" makes it blatantly obvious it's a prank. There is also a large clue in the form of the date - Sunday, February 24th. Purim, not unlike April Fool's, is a time when it isn't uncommon for publications to run prank stories. For anyone unfamiliar with the custom, the article even signs off with the disclaimer - "This has been a Purim prank... ".

Despite all of this, as the Mondoweiss post points out a few pundits took the bait and ran with the story as a legit report. One such was right-wing zealot Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugs - until she caught up with reality and pretended she was really in on the joke all along.  Conservative pundit Robert Miller posted the story on Joshuapundit under the headline “Rolling Stones To Israel haters: ‘Up Yours.’” A few other sites have also treated the story as the straight goods including Algemeiner and

Recognition-hungry Israel promoters are of course always eager to have big name artists perform in Israel or at Israel-related events in the US and elsewhere, so perhaps the readiness-to-believe in the case of the Stones story was in part wish fulfillment - after all the pro-Israel crowd hasn't had much to cheer about lately.

Speaking of big name acts - Stevie Wonder had a few people wondering what was up when he apparently agreed to headline a Friends of Israel Defense Forces gala benefit in LA. To the relief of those Stevie fans who would prefer not to associate him with the IDF, he pulled out stating that "I am and have always been against war, any war, anywhere."