At one point during Pearl Jam’s July 11th gig in Milton Keynes, England, frontman Eddie Vedder stopped the band’s set to deliver a fervent anti-war tirade. “I swear to fucking God, there are people out there who are looking for a reason to kill!” the singer exclaims in the above clip (with the rant starting around the 4:10 mark). “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.”
As Spin notes, Vedder doesn’t mention any specific countries, but numerous Israeli media outlets have singled out the singer, claiming his remarks represent hostility toward Israel and its current military conflict with Palestine.
“What the fuck? What the fuck?” he asks, observing the wonders of modern technology and advertising. “At the same time that something this positive is happening, at the same fucking time, not even that far away, they’re fucking dropping bombs on each other. What the fucking fuck?”
Before covering Edwin Starr’s pacifist tune “War” (and dropping to his knees in protest), Vedder discusses how human beings all have the same desires and goals: “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!”
The Jerusalem Post labeled the speech an “anti-Israel diatribe,” noting in their report a quote from Israel Radio disc jockey Ben Red, who helped organize a social media campaign aiming to bring Pearl Jam to the country. “Eddie Vedder, your true face is finally being revealed,” Red stated. “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.”