09/26/2008 at 10:20 AM EDT
Forty-three years after an over-protective Israeli government banned The Beatles from their country, Paul McCartney performed in front of an audience of 45,000 in Tel Aviv, just days before the start of the Jewish new year.
The Israeli audience roared its approval as Sir Paul greeted the crowd on Thursday night and wished them a happy new year in Liverpudlian-accented Hebrew: "Shalom Tel Aviv. Shana Tova."
Though his current girlfriend, Nancy Shevell, 48, was in attendance, McCartney, 66, dedicated the song "My Love" to his late wife, Linda. He also paid tribute to his late bandmates George Harrison and John Lennon during the concert, which was filled with Beatles music.
McCartney wore a pink shirt and an early-Beatles-style black suit made by his fashion designer daughter Stella, 37.
"She is the best designer in the world but she doesn't do much menswear, it's mainly women's wear," he told Non-Stop Radio in Tel Aviv. "I don't look too good in her frocks."
After arriving in Israel a day earlier, McCartney and Shevell (who were together in London
last week) took a trip to Bethlehem in Palestine, where they lit a candle for peace at the Church of the Nativity. McCartney announced, "This candle is for peace for people all round the world – especially Israel and Palestine."