Paul McCartney Says Won't Come to Israel to Receive Wolf Music Prize

McCartney says being chosen was a 'great honor,' but his schedule won't allow him to travel to Israel

Singer/songwriter Paul McCartney performs on stage at the Prudential Center on September 11, 2017 in Newark, NJ.
Brent N. Clarke / Invision / AP

The musician Paul McCartney announced Thursday that he would not come to Israel later this month to receive the Wolf Prize for Music he was awarded in February.

"It's very flattering and I'm grateful to be chosen for the Wolf Prize for Music this year," wrote McCartney. "It’s certainly a great honor for me to be included among the greatest artists, creators, scientists and writers of today’s history. But after reviewing my schedule I have to announce that I will not be able to arrive at the date set."

The music prize will be awarded to McCartney and Adam Fischer, a conductor and human rights activist; the Agriculture Prize to Prof. Gene Robinson of the University of Illinois for leading the genome revolution in the biology of honey bee populations; the Chemistry Prize to Prof. Makuto Fujita of the University of Tokyo and Prof. Omar Yaghi of the University of California, Berkeley for their contributions to supramolecular chemistry.

The prestigious Wolf Prize was founded in 1975. It has been awarded in five areas - four in the sciences and one in the arts - in a fixed rotation.

Last month, actress Natalie Portman announced that she would not arrive in Israel to receive the Genesis Prize. The dual American-Israeli citizen said in a statement that she cancelled her arrival upon knowledge that Netanyahu was scheduled to speak at the ceremony.