Eddie Vedder, Under Fire From Israeli Media, Writes Anti-War Statement
Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder is currently under fire for anti-war comments he made during the band’s July 11th gig in Milton Keynes, England. The outspoken frontman’s remarks, starting around the 4:10 mark below, follow a sharply intense “No More War” chant-tag at the end of “Daughter” and reflect on the incomprehensible violence taking place amid today’s technological leaps and connectivity. He does not name any specific country, but the obvious implication leans to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict with tensions currently at a murderous high.
“I swear to fucking God, there are people out there who are looking for a reason to kill!” he spits, furiously. “They’re looking for a reason to go across borders and take over land that doesn’t belong to them. They should get the fuck out and mind their own fucking business,” he laments, before shouting “We don’t want to give them our money, we don’t want to give them our taxes, to drop bombs on children!”
As a result, numerous Israeli media outlets have singled out the singer, claiming his remarks represent hostility toward Israel and its current military conflict with Palestine. The Jerusalem Post labeled the speech an “anti-Israel diatribe” and quoted Israel Radio disc jockey Ben Red, who helped organize a social media campaign aiming to bring Pearl Jam to the country.
“Eddie Vedder, your true face is finally being revealed,” Red stated. “You are invited not to come here. I personally do not want to see you, and I will erase the Facebook page calling on bringing [Pearl Jam] to Israel, but not before I expose who you really are.”
Vedder responded today on Pearl Jam’s official site with remarks that not only reaffirm his anti-war, anti-bombing position, but employs John Lennon’s “Imagine” and explains “I’d rather be naïve, heartfelt and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution.” Read his full comments below.
Imagine That — I’m Still Anti-War.
July 16 2014
Most of us have heard John Lennon sing
“You may say I’m a dreamer,… but I’m not the only one.”
And some of us, after another morning dose of news coverage full of
death and destruction, feel the need to reach out to others to see if
we are not alone in our outrage. With about a dozen assorted
ongoing conflicts in the news everyday, and with the stories
becoming more horrific, the level of sadness becomes unbearable.
And what becomes of our planet when that sadness becomes apathy?
Because we feel helpless. And we turn our heads and turn the page.
Currently, I’m full of hope. That hope springs from the multitudes of
people that our band has been fortunate enough to play for night
after night here in Europe. To see flags of so many different nations,
and to have these huge crowds gathered peacefully and joyfully is
the exact inspiration behind the words I felt the need to emphatically relay.
When attempting to make a plea for more peace in the world at a rock concert,
we are reflecting the feelings of all those we have come in contact with
so we may all have a better understanding of each other.
That’s not something I’m going to stop anytime soon. Call me naïve.
I’d rather be naïve, heartfelt and hopeful than resigned to say
nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution.
The majority of humans on this planet are more consumed by the
pursuit of love, health, family, food and shelter than any kind of war.
War hurts. It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on.
With all the global achievements in modern technology,
enhanced communication and information devices, cracking the
human genome, land rovers on Mars etc., do we really have to
resign ourselves to the devastating reality that conflict will be
resolved with bombs, murder and acts of barbarism?
We are such a remarkable species. Capable of creating beauty.
Capable of awe-inspiring advancements. We must be capable of
resolving conflicts without bloodshed.
I don’t know how to reconcile the peaceful rainbow of flags we see
each night at our concerts with the daily news of a dozen global
conflicts and their horrific consequences. I don’t know how to
process the feeling of guilt and complicity when I hear about the
deaths of a civilian family from a U.S. drone strike. But I know that
we can’t let the sadness turn into apathy. And I do know we are
better off when we reach out to each other.
“I hope someday you’ll join us,…”
Won’t you listen to what the man said.
— Eddie Vedder