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Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic Stands With Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder on Anti-War Views

Krist Novoselic / Eddie Vedder
Kevin Winter / Jason Oxenham, Getty Images

On July 11, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder launched into an anti-war plea while performing in England. The musician’s speech received much media coverage, even attracting negative publicity from some pundits accusing Vedder of being anti-Israel. However, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic has praised Vedder for expressing his views.

A few days after Vedder’s plea, the musician addressed the views he expressed in England with greater detail in a post titled, ‘Imagine That – I’m Still Anti-War.’ Vedder also performed the John Lennon peace anthem ‘Imagine’ for the first time in concert during a July 18 solo show in Portugal. “I think it is the most powerful song ever written,” Vedder expressed, “which is why I have never played it.”

As for Krist Novoselic, the Nirvana bassist and political activist wrote a blog post supporting Eddie Vedder and his outspoken anti-war views:

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 Israel/ Palestine.

Thanks Eddie for sharing your feelings. I stand with you my friend!!!

Pearl Jam are set to play a string of U.S. dates in October. For the full list of shows, click here.

Eddie Vedder Performs John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’

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