With Paul Anka, Neil Young and Backstreet Boys cancelling or postponing shows in Israel due to the escalating crisis, some artists are speaking out. Last week, Eddie Vedder voiced his concerns which caused a backlash and subsequent response from the Pearl Jam singer while calling others in positions of power "knuckleheads."
Now Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic is siding with Vedder following a lengthy post on his blog site -- and also reported by Blabbermouth entitled "Standing With Eddie Vedder and the Real Possibility of Peace." Although updated to include the latest incident with Vedder, portions of the blog were found in a 2009 post Novoselic wrote for Seattle Weekly entitled "Israel, Palestine and Southwest Washington."
"Thank you Eddie Vedder for speaking up for peace in our world," Novoselic wrote earlier today to begin. "Eddie has gotten some criticism over comments he made about the conflict between 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."
Novoselic then speaks about the growth of technology and advances in communication making the world a smaller place in most regions. "In contrast to this great convergence of humanity, Israel is building tall concrete walls while Palestinians fire rockets over them," he wrote. "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."
The musician then stated that Hamas' "policy of not recognizing Israel is a dead end" while acknowledging Israel being a "state for over 50 years" as well as an "inclusive democracy with universal human rights." But he also acknowledged the population and demographic changes in Israel over that time. "The influx of people into Israel -- mostly Europeans -- has displaced some four million Palestinians," he wrote. "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."
Novoselic continued by stating how the region is home to various religions including Islam, Judaism and Christianity while also citing how longstanding conflicts in other regions (Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia) have evolved into peace. "In both these cases, a resolution of the conflict was buttressed by the promise of the stability needed for the prosperity to happen," he wrote.
"The people of Palestine and Israel deserve peace and prosperity," Novoselic concluded. "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!!!"
Three different visuals were found beneath Novoselic's letter. One was a photo of Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home Party, an Israeli lawmaker and politician who was quoted as saying: "They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists." A 63-second YouTube clip is also visible from a Palestinian (Fatah) Cleric demanding the destruction of Israel.
The third is John Lennon performing "Imagine," a song which Vedder quoted in his letter and performed at a recent concert while defending his anti-war stance.
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