An open letter to Eddie Vedder, from Orphaned Land's Kobi Farhi

Orphaned Land frontman Kobi Farhi has written an open letter to one of his heroes, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, urging the US musician to bring his band to Israel for the first time.

Earlier this summer, Vedder was accused by the Jerusalem Post of making a “harsh anti-Israel diatribe” following an onstage speech referencing the conflict in Gaza. A prominent Israeli rock DJ, Ben Red, then published an open letter to Vedder telling him to stay away from Israel as his “true face has finally been revealed.” But Kobi Farhi’s own open letter takes a rather different tack.

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Eddie Vedder

I hope this open letter finds you well.

I thought that reaching 100,000 views for the cover of ‘Jeremy’ I did with my friends might be a good reason to write you. We’ve never met Eddie, you don’t really know me. However, on Facebook I’m always told I look like you. Add the fact that I’m a musician too, I always knew that you and me, big or small stars, we are made and sent from the same solar system. I’ve always been your fan.

When I was a teenager back in the 90’s, it was always a well known and such an appreciated fact that Pearl Jam are one of those bands who cares about their fans before anyone else. We remember how you fought for the tickets prices to be fair or how you never sold yourself out for some big sponsors. Ever since those days, up until that moment right now, we in Israel have never had the chance to see you guys live.

As someone who was always so much into his own fans, you probably saw the amazing page Bring Pearl Jam To Israel. I can’t remember seeing anywhere in the history of music such a beautiful movement of fans calling the band they love with cover versions, paintings, photos, tattoos; people took everything that is beautiful in music out there. That was the most creative, colourful, loving call I have ever seen for a band, yet we’ve never heard any word from you, though we still believe that you are that dude from the 90’s, and the same way you always moved us, we feel that it’s our duty to move you too.

Eddie – Music is a cure, music enters our hearts, brings tears to our eyes, gives us hopes in moments of fear, it’s a simple light in a twisted darkness; music is the best gift of the universe. Nothing new here – you know it.

Yes, bad things are happening in many places in this world, and that’s the reason we need to be together, sing with our eyes closed, hearts open and our faces towards the stars. It is needed now more than ever. It’s your duty, as well as ours.

If music is the greatest form of harmony, can you agree with me that it’s mostly needed in places that suffer from disharmony?

It has nothing to do with supporting governments or being one sided in conflicts. It’s about you and your fans, people whom you entered their hearts like a bullet of never ending flame.

Mercedes Sosa RIP always sang those amazing words of a famous song: “Ci se calla el cantor, calla la vida” – If the singer is silent, life will be silenced.”

Eddie, my friend whom I’ve never met – come to the promised land, bring your light, be our Moses for a few hours, let us hear you, let us sing with you. Think about what I wrote here, please.

Yours sincerely,

Kobi Farhi Orphaned Land

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.