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Yeah, Mick Jagger speaks Hebrew

on 27 Comments

This is funny. Energetic Israel booster Avi Mayer, reveling in the musical acts that are ignoring boycott calls and playing Israel this summer, picked up a Mick Jagger tweet before the Rolling Stones gig the other day.

Fantastic: tweets a photo from Jerusalem and thanks Israel for welcoming the — in Hebrew!

Scott Roth landed on this:

Yeah, Mick Jagger speaks Hebrew.

Here’s Jagger’s tweet:

תודה לכולם בישראל על קבלת פנים נפלאה. היתה

הופעה אדירה ונזכור אותה תמיד.

Jagger in Israel

Jagger in Israel

My Hebrew’s a little rusty, but I think that translates as:

I rode a tank
Held a general’s rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank
Pleased to meet you,

Hope you guess my name.

PS This website has a different translation. “Thanks to everyone in Israel for the wonderful reception. It was a great concert and we will always remember it.” 

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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27 Responses

  1. AlGhorear on June 8, 2014, 1:34 pm

    I had to run the text through a translator to know Phil was joking. Phil’s is more apropo for the situation.

  2. Shmuel on June 8, 2014, 1:36 pm

    Your Hebrew is better than you think, Phil. That’s one hell of a translation.

  3. Citizen on June 8, 2014, 1:49 pm

    If memory serves, Jagger’s occupation before he started selling his frantic version of the Beatles and his lips and swiveling hips was–he was an accountant. I think his history shows he always puts his fingers to the winds, decides what is prevailing, political status quo opinion trendy, and signs on. He did this by backing BDS against apartheid S Africa, and by (initially) backing Bush Jr’s war attack on Iraq in partnership with Tony Blair. After it was determined Saddam had no WMD or connection with Iranian terrorists, he changed his mind. Jagger’s current activity has to do with his aging ego and his best guess at what is the current status quo, all the while trying to maintain his aging image as a rebel against the status quo. He’s turned himself into a bad joke for any aware human.

    • Zach S on June 9, 2014, 9:37 am

      You guys are ridiculous. So Jagger and his band didn’t agree with you about this. So what? It’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t make him a terrible person. You *do* agree that people are allowed to hold different opinions and points of view, right?

      • Woody Tanaka on June 9, 2014, 12:56 pm

        “You *do* agree that people are allowed to hold different opinions and points of view, right?”

        What’s your point? Granting that someone is allowed to hold different opinions and points of view does not also require one to hold off in condemning or contesting those opinions.

      • Hostage on June 9, 2014, 9:16 pm

        @ Zach S You guys are ridiculous.

        Answering you here about your own ridiculous responses to those who disagree with you. You commented on an article about LA City Council members denouncing an ethics pledge circulated at UCLA by Students for Justice in Palestine chapter (SJP), the Armenian Students Association and Jewish Voice for Peace. I noted that the JPAC Committee of California quotes LA Council members and State reps who claim to have visited scenes of destruction and violence in Sderot and asked you to name any of them who have actually visited the scenes of Israeli violence in Gaza and the West Bank?

        Your link to a story about Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland is a non-response.

        The article doesn’t say the trip was paid for by third parties, or that anyone was in contact with Palestinians. But if you’d like student candidates to sign a pledge that they won’t talk to Rabbis for Human Rights, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) or hold discussions “with Israeli settlers and some right-wingers” (see the article you cited) when they visit Israel-Palestine, then be my guest. I don’t think that you’ll get any takers or that you’ll have any impact on student body elections.

    • zhaomafan on June 9, 2014, 4:40 pm

      your memory is letting you down. He was a student at the LSE (London School of Economics) which has a long reputation as a hotbed of……Leftism. So much for your insightful analysis of the character and motivations of someone whom, i think it’s same to assume, you actually don’t know. He’s not a bad joke — he’s an excellent performing artist. He’s a rock and roller. A successful one. That’s all. Stop trying to turn him into a target and a proxy for….what? accountants? people without political values? whatever…. just because you are angry that he played in Israel. Get over it.

  4. Bumblebye on June 8, 2014, 1:57 pm

    Oh wow!
    Is that a quenelle gesture Mick?

    • Pixel on June 8, 2014, 4:52 pm


    • just on June 8, 2014, 4:57 pm

      Why, I do believe it is, Bumblebye!

      You are incredibly clever, Phil. You hit the ball out of the park with that bit!

      • philweiss on June 8, 2014, 8:21 pm

        I dont agree; I’m kicking myself I didnt make the quenelle joke. Good one!

  5. jon s on June 8, 2014, 4:59 pm

    The Stones playing in Israel doesn’t imply that they agree with Israeli policies or actions, any more than playing in the US means that they condone American foreign policy, or economic policy . And that’s true in regard to any place they perform and in regard to all the musicians and artists who perform here.

    You don’t have to “Paint it Black”.

    • bryan on June 9, 2014, 4:20 am

      Perhaps you misunderstand the role of BDS – it is a last resort, adopted only after all other methods (engagement / negotiation / persuasion) have failed and is directed not at states, but at state policies. There are many things to criticise in American policy, but there is some evidence that (e.g. exposure of Iran-Contra, the overwhelming Democratic vote responding to Bush’s neo-Conservatism, the efforts of the the Obama administration to resist Zio-bullying to attack Iran and Syria) that suggest that there is still some hope that normal democratic processes in the US can still work. In Israel on the contrary every government has ramped up the illegal occupation for almost half a century with an electorate that is totally unable to resist election wars (e.g. Operations Opera, Grapes of Wrath, Cast Lead and Pillar of Defence, which closely preceded the elections of 1981, 1996, 2009, 2013). There is every evidence that the Israeli people are unable (or unwilling) to restrain their military industrial complex; one can’t yet say quite the same about America.
      America has been equally guilty of land theft and ethnic cleansing but long ago, and was even capable of ending a semi-Apartheid system that existed during segregation and Jim Crow – something that the Israeli government has no interest in achieving.
      The Palestinian people have asked the world to support their efforts to achieve justice (with no equivalent applicable to the USA). As a child of the 50s/60s and the summers of love and peace it is unforgivable of Jagger to cross a metaphorical picket-line simply to scab a few dirty shekels.

    • Faisal on June 9, 2014, 5:59 am

      About 10 million people are exiled, occupied and besieged by Israel (itself about 8 millions).

      That’s the equivalent of America exiling, occupying, and besieging about 400 million people (now imagine what those performing in such a house of horror would symbolize or stand for).

    • Woody Tanaka on June 9, 2014, 12:59 pm

      “And that’s true in regard to any place they perform and in regard to all the musicians and artists who perform here.”

      I disagree. Israel is not a normal country, should not be treated as a normal country and its citizens should not be given even one second’s grace in believing that it is a normal country. Until the Palestinians are given justice, every Israeli, unless that person is actively working for justice for Palestinians, should be haunted by the thought of the crimes that he or she is responsible for against the Palestinians and should fear retribution for them. Not a moment’s respite.

    • zhaomafan on June 9, 2014, 4:41 pm


  6. MahaneYehude1 on June 8, 2014, 5:22 pm

    @Philip Weiss:

    My Hebrew’s a little rusty,…

    No, your Hebrew is too rusty, Here is the correct translation for you:

    I rode a tank
    and saw the land
    Where the terror raged
    And the neighbors spread hates
    Pleased to meet you
    The people of this land.

    Mahane Yehuda

    • just on June 8, 2014, 7:00 pm

      Thumbs down, MY1. Not even close.

    • eljay on June 8, 2014, 7:49 pm

      >> Here is the correct translation for you:

      Wrong again, Potato-man. Here is the correct translation:

      I stuck around in Palestine
      while the Zios stole it all for their state;
      I watched with pride as they eagerly
      killed and chanted “God is great!”

      I built their wall and I made them crawl,
      and their idol state
      will be their downfall.

      Pleased to meet you!
      Yes, you know my name.
      But what’s surprising you is how much
      Zios love my game.

    • a blah chick on June 8, 2014, 9:33 pm

      Now, now, let’s not shoot down Mahane’s efforts out of hand. Here’s my version of his version:

      So I rode into town on my tank and saw terrorized people (who didn’t have any tanks) and then they started talking smack about me and my tank but I was pleased to meet these people anyway, because I’ve got a tank and they don’t. Also I need their land and cheap labor.

      Sounds about right.

    • Mooser on June 9, 2014, 8:15 pm

      “Where the terror raged
      And the neighbors spread hates”

      Listen, fella, if you want to prove to the world that Jews are a selfish, brutal and criminal people, who can only lived caged among themselves, that’s your business, and may you choke on it.
      But I’ll be damned if I’ll stand by without protest when you try to show us as lousy lyricists. It’s anti-Semantic.

      • MahaneYehude1 on June 10, 2014, 12:14 am


        Congratulation!!!! the first Mooser reply to Mahane. It’s going to be fan!!

        What do you mean by “lousy lyricists”? And Philip “lyricists” were wonderful? Just to remind you that first time that you read nonsense is when you read the “article” written by a journalist.

      • Shmuel on June 10, 2014, 4:26 am

        And Philip “lyricists” were wonderful?

        The lyricists in question are Jagger and Richards (Sympathy for the Devil), and yeah, they’re pretty good.

        Welcome back, Mooser.

      • just on June 10, 2014, 4:06 am

        Most excellent, Mooser. lol!

  7. Light on June 8, 2014, 5:46 pm

    The tweet in Hebrew doesn’t sound like Mick Jagger at all. My vote is for Phil’s as well.

  8. Daniel Rich on June 8, 2014, 7:43 pm

    I see Mick has to put some effort into keeping his right arm down and not swing it up and shout, “Mein Father, Foster, Frog Führer !”

    I’m with Bill Hicks on this one -” Any performer that ever sells a product on television is now and forever and for all eternity removed from the artistic world, I don’t care if you shit Mona Lisas out of your ass on cue. You’ve made your fucking choice.”

    Extend that to playing/performing in Apartheid States.

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