By Geoff Baker
Paul McCartney performs in Israel on Thursday for the first time. The concert in Tel Aviv will be a security nightmare and rival groups are playing tug-of-war with Paul's personal politics.
Because he is seen almost universally as 'one of the good guys', everyone wants to recruit him to their side.
Israel, which famously banned the 'decadent' Beatles in 1965, is billing the concert as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations.
Paul with Linda in the Nineties. His Tel Aviv concert is a nod to the Jewish element in his success, including her family the Eastmans whose legal advice helped him during the Beatles' breakup
Some Palestinian groups insist the event should not go ahead - and no one discounts the possibility of an extremist attempting a 'spectacular' to make a political point.
'I was approached by different groups and political bodies who asked me not to go to Israel,' Paul told the Israeli media. 'But I refused. I do what I think.'
Paul is no Zionist and nor has he ever spoken up for the PLO, but he is a pacifist and hopes the two sides take a hint from the title of the gig - The Friendship First Concert.
There is also a private reason for Macca's visit - it represents a nod of thanks to those of Jewish birth who were instrumental in helping to forge the Beatles phenomenon.
As a Beatle, Paul's manager, lawyer, song publisher and promoter were all Jewish.
Manager Brian Epstein's contacts were particularly useful for the band.
One such man was Dick James, who became The Beatles' song publisher, and who suggested the formation of Northern Songs, the company that made millions for Paul and John Lennon.
Another key player was Sid Bernstein, who helped cement Beatlemania in the United States thanks to the band's concerts at Shea Stadium in 1965.
And then there was Murray Kaufman, the DJ who championed songs such as I Want To Hold Your Hand.
The other Jewish friends in Paul's rise were the Eastmans, the family of entertainment lawyers headed by Lee Eastman, the father of Paul's late wife Linda.
Lee and his son John represented Paul from 1969 and it was through them that Paul bolstered his massive wealth by acquiring publishing rights to hundreds of other songs including the Buddy Holly catalogue. Paul is still represented by the firm.
And then, of course, there is Linda. Paul, will arrive in Israel on September 24, the date on which she would have been 67.
It would be astonishing if the couple's children - Heather, Mary, Stella and James - do not accompany their father.
Of course, this adds to the security risk, and Paul's aides are finalising a protection strategy with the Israeli intelligence service.
As Paul's former spokesman, I know that at all McCartney concerts, the TV news crews are fed one song which they can broadcast for free. But which song will Paul choose?
On the banks of the Mersey in 1990, Paul performed a tribute to Lennon in front of 70,000 fans.
Playing a medley that included Strawberry Fields Forever, Help! and Give Peace A Chance remains one of Paul's career highlights.
One newspaper said of that magical moment: 'We will probably not see its like again.' But on Thursday we just might.
(c) Daily Mail 2008