Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic has publicly thanked Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder for the impassioned peace plea that saw some people accusing him of being anti-Semitic.
Vedder stopped a show in Milton Keynes last weekend and called for an end to military action, saying: “We don’t want to give them our taxes to drop bombs on children.”
While he didn’t refer to the current violence between Israel and Palestine, many believed that’s what he was talking about – and it led to some people accusing Vedder of harbouring anti-Jewish sentiments. One Israeli DJ who’d been campaigning for the band to visit his country decided to call off his efforts, saying: “I will erase the Facebook page, but not before I expose who you really are.”
Now Novoselic has written on his blog: “Thank you, Eddie, 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.”
Repeating Vedder’s sentiments, Novoselic says: “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.”
He goes on: “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.
“It is the knuckleheads on both sides that should be criticised – not the singer from a rock band. Thanks, Eddie, for sharing your feelings. I stand with you, my friend.”
Vedder raised the topic again during a Pearl Jam concert in Portugal on Friday, before performing an acoustic version of John Lennon track Imagine for the first time.
The singer told the crowd: “You know sometimes if you speak out, people are going to misunderstand and they take things a certain way or another. If you don’t speak out, you don’t know. If someone doesn’t like it, it probably means it has some kind of meaning – it’s not just bullshit.”