Following Controversial Onstage Rant, Eddie Vedder Says He’s Anti-War Not Anti-Israel

At a recent Pearl Jam concert in Milton Keynes, England, during an extended jam on “Daughter,” Eddie Vedder launched into an anti-war rant that some listeners perceived as an anti-Israel rant. Read the full text of his speech below — or, to get the full effect, watch Vedder get fired up beginning at 4:10 in the fan-made video:

So what the fuck! What the fuck! We can have this many people having a peaceful time. We can have modern technology. We can reach our friends. They know what we’re thinking before we’re thinking it. Half the time they know what we’re thinking before we’re thinking it. We have technology. All this at our hands. But at the same time something this positive is happening — at the same fucking time, not even that far away — we’re fucking dropping bombs on each other. What the fucking fuck? And I get if war is the last resort. If they’re coming on your soil, I get it. I get it. You don’t want to be in that situation. But I swear to fucking god, there are some people out there who are looking for a reason to kill. They’re looking for a reason to come across borders and take over land that doesn’t belong to them, and they should get the fuck out and mind their own fucking business! Everyone wants the same goddamn thing: Live our lives! 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 fucking same. So why are people at war? Stop the fucking shit now! Now! Now! We don’t want to give them our money. They don’t get our taxes to drop bombs on children! No! No more!

(via Rolling Stone)

After catching some flack for his comments from Israeli sources such as The Jerusalem Post, which described the rant as “an anti-Israel diatribe,” Vedder posted to Pearl Jam’s website explaining that he’s anti-war, not anti-Israel. After quoting John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Vedder wrote, “War hurts. It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on.” Later in the piece, he continued, “We are such a remarkable species. Capable of creating beauty. Capable of awe-inspiring advancements. We must be capable of resolving conflicts without bloodshed.” Read Vedder’s full essay here.

[Photo by Jason Oxenham/Getty Images.]