Two of the biggest bands to emerge out of Seattle during the Grunge Era were Pearl Jam and
Nirvana, so there's a camaraderie the two acts share. Pearl Jam front man Eddie
Vedder recently found himself at the center of a controversy thanks to remarks he made at a recent show in London. Nirvana bassist Krist
Novoselic posted a statement on his blog yesterday in
which he voices his support for Vedder's anti-war stance and instead blames the
"knuckleheads" on both sides of the Israel/Palestine conflict.
[Photo by Jared Kelly]
Here's the full text of Novoselic's blog post:
Thank you Eddie Vedder for speaking up for peace in our world. Eddie has gotten some
criticism over comments he made about the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis.
That situation has been messed up for so long, it is no wonder that even mentioning it is
toxic. Let’s face it, the relationship between the Palestinians and the Israelis is a
disaster! I don’t know how many times I have heard the same explanations and excuses and
it matters not, there is a continuing catastrophe between those two peoples.
Our world is connected as never before. People from all corners of the planet share
culture and commerce at the click of a mouse. In contrast to this great convergence of
humanity, Israel is building tall concrete walls while Palestinians fire rockets over
them. There's a shared recent history between these people, and I think there could be a
shared future that's more in tune with what's going on with our ever-connected universe.
Hamas' policy of not recognizing Israel is a dead end. All our lives are a result of the
course of history. In other words, one thing leads to another, and our circumstances bring
us to where we are. Israel has been a state for over 50 years, and has grown to seven
million citizens. Furthermore, Israel is an inclusive democracy with universal human
rights. In fact, Arab Israelis, like all its citizens, can vote for parties who hold seats
in the Knesset, the national legislature.
However, if there is to be recognition of the course of history, we cannot forget the
demographic changes the idea of Israel has created over 50 years. The influx of people
into Israel--mostly Europeans--has displaced some four million Palestinians. You can give
any anecdote you want about how small Israel is in comparison to the rest of the Middle
East but the sentiment is still there--Palestinians feel that their land was taken away.
The region is host to the convergence of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. It's where
these religions started, and the region's extensive history draws from all three of these
Abrahamic faiths. Radicals hold eschatological beliefs that, if manifested, could set off
a major religious conflict in the region and world. You have to credit Israel for keeping
a lid on this dynamic while at the same time granting religious freedom.
As we've seen with other conflicts, things do and can change. The "troubles" in Northern
Ireland were a result of events a century ago, and after a proactive effort, peace has
taken hold. Yugoslavia was another 19th-century idea that when put into practice caused
much controversy and conflict. Today we find the south Slavs working to come together in
the European Union. In both these cases, a resolution of the conflict was buttressed by
the promise of the stability needed for prosperity to happen.
The people of Palestine and Israel deserve peace and prosperity. It is time to stop
repeating the same old arguments, dogma and hate speech. It is the knuckleheads on both
sides that should be criticized and not the singer from a rock band. In addition, both
sides need to make hard decisions about finding a settlement to the catastrophe that is
Thanks Eddie for sharing your feelings. I stand with you my friend!!!
Last week Vedder addressed the controversy with a note that quoted
John Lennon's "Imagine." Eddie covered "Imagine" as part of his solo set in Portugal on
Friday night. Before starting his debut of "Imagine," Vedder told the crowd "I think it is
the most powerful song ever written, which is why I have never played it. It seems like
maybe there is a reason to play it. If you’d like join me or use your voices or hold a
light there might be some people out there that need to know they are not alone,”
according to Consequence of Sound.
Watch fan-shot video of the cover thanks to S Oom: