Eddie Vedder Comes Under Fire for Anti-War Speech
Published Jul 16, 2014A recent in-concert speech from Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder on the topic of war has split fan opinion, with some praising the singer's words and others lambasting them as "anti-Israel."
Last Friday's (July 11) appearance at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK, found the band playing an extended version of "Daughter" in which Vedder ad-libbed an anti-war message. As you'll see in the fan-shot footage down below, it escalates quickly, with the singer shouting: "I swear to fucking God, there are people out there who are looking for a reason to kill! 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 continued: "Everyone wants the same goddamn thing: to have our children, eat, procreate, draw a painting, make some art, listen to music, fuck some more, have another baby, eat, work, eat, work, love, love, love, everyone's the fuckin' same! So why are people at war? Stop the fucking shit, now! Now! Now! We don't want to give them our money. We don't want to give them our taxes to drop bombs on children! Now! No more! Now!"
While the speech didn't lay specific targets, many believe Vedder was referencing the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. The Jerusalem Post branded the speech as an "anti-Israel diatribe," while Israeli DJ Ben Red condemned Vedder on Facebook.
"Eddie Vedder, your true face is finally being revealed," he wrote. "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."
Fans have likewise gone onto Vedder's Facebook to share their opinions, whether for or against the singer's position.
"I love Pearl Jam, always have, and it makes me really sad and disgusted to hear you say these terrible things," a critical fan wrote "You have absolutely NO IDEA how it feels to grow up in a country like Israel, you don't know what it's like to be afraid of riding a bus or going to a bar in fear that you will die from a suicide bomber. You don't know how scary it is to hear the sirens, running as fast as you can to safety."
On the opposite side of the spectrum, another fan showed her support for the message, writing, "It is a truly sad day when a man gets abuse for speaking out against murder and bloodshed.....he has been protesting against war....all war...for twenty years....no one is listening.....take it easy Ed...we understand and love you."
You can watch the controversial concert clip down below.
UPDATE: Following the resulting controversy, Vedder has now penned an open letter hoping to better explain his position on war. You can read the entire letter here.