Bono Mentions "Palestinian Dream" in Historic Concert at Lincoln Memorial

I do not know what is more interesting–the fact that U2 leader singer Bono mentioned the word “Palestine” in front of a crowd of a half a million–including President-elect-Barack Obama–or the fact that this very incident is being heralded a major unscripted, even newsworthy part of the concert.

Rolling Stone magazine wrote in its blog about the incident:

The only other seemingly unscripted moment came during U2’s rendition of “Pride (In the Name of Love),” during which Bono suggested Dr. King’s dream is also an Irish, European, African and Israeli dream, adding, with special emphasis, “It is also a Palestinian dream!”

In the blog by the foreign editor of the Times of London, the headline read “Bono and the ‘Palestinian’ Dream.” The Nation magazine praised Bono in an entry called “Bono’s Shout-Out to Palestine,” writing that:

The mention of the Palestinians, in this semi-official setting, with Barack Obama sitting just a few feet away, will not change the circumstance on the ground in Gaza. It is unlikely to inspire a more engaged or functional U.S. policy with regard to the Middle East.

But Bono deserves a measure of credit for reminding the partygoers that peace and justice, for Israel and Palestine is a part of the dream. (emphasis theirs)

UPDATE (Jan 23): Thanks to Debra for pointing that during a rehersal video posted on youTube, Bono can be seen performing the song “Pride” and utters the words “Palestinian dream” and “ceasefire” but does not mention “Israel.” Clip here to watch the video

 

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

21 thoughts on “Bono Mentions "Palestinian Dream" in Historic Concert at Lincoln Memorial

  1. The U2 performance was extremely powerful on many levels. It took courage for him to make this point in this place, at this time.

    HBO seems to be blocking the video link provided though, people can try to cut & paste:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVyqWB3vYRw&eu

    The U2 song starts at 3:30 minutes into the video and statement at 7:10 minutes.

  2. The U2 performance was extremely powerful on many levels. It took courage for him to make this point in this place, at this time.

    HBO seems to be blocking the video link provided though, people can try to cut & paste:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVyqWB3vYRw&eu

    The U2 song starts at 3:30 minutes into the video and statement at 7:10 minutes.

  3. The U2 performance was extremely powerful on many levels. It took courage for him to make this point in this place, at this time.

    HBO seems to be blocking the video link provided though, people can try to cut & paste:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVyqWB3vYRw&eu

    The U2 song starts at 3:30 minutes into the video and statement at 7:10 minutes.

  4. I guess we can consider it a small victory, but even George Bush talks of an independent Palestine. Bono gets enough backlash for being a faux activist that I don't have to add to the chorus, but I would point out that he said "everyone in Israel", waited five seconds, then said "everyone in Palestine." It's what I would call very safe and mainstream-ey nods to equality in the Middle East. Better than nothing though.

  5. The U2 performance was extremely powerful on many levels. It took courage for him to make this point in this place, at this time.

    HBO seems to be blocking the video link provided though, people can try to cut & paste:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVyqWB3vYRw&eurl=http://video.google.com/videosearch?sourceid=navclient&rls=RNWE,RNWE:2006-16,RNWE:en&q=%22Bono%22%20&feature=player_embedded

    The U2 song starts at 3:30 minutes into the video and statement at 7:10 minutes.

  6. I guess we can consider it a small victory, but even George Bush talks of an independent Palestine. Bono gets enough backlash for being a faux activist that I don’t have to add to the chorus, but I would point out that he said “everyone in Israel”, waited five seconds, then said “everyone in Palestine.” It’s what I would call very safe and mainstream-ey nods to equality in the Middle East. Better than nothing though.

  7. Interesting note: I was searching for U2's Lincoln Memorial performance on YouTube, and accidentally chose a version that turned out to be the rehearsal. Bono said the same things but did not say "an Israeli dream". He did say "a Palesinian dream" and called for a ceasefire. I wonder who asked him to edit his remarks for the concert?

  8. Interesting note: I was searching for U2′s Lincoln Memorial performance on YouTube, and accidentally chose a version that turned out to be the rehearsal. Bono said the same things but did not say “an Israeli dream”. He did say “a Palesinian dream” and called for a ceasefire. I wonder who asked him to edit his remarks for the concert?

  9. I was incredibly proud of Bono for doing what he did that day. No American act had the cojones to even make reference to it, and even if they were thinking of it, they were also probably thinking they didn't want to be a "spoiler". Who else but Bono and U2 would bring the topic up at that place and time? I say America has been complicit in spoiling the lives of millions of Palestinians for far too long. Bono and U2 were true to their roots as a political band born in the late 70's when rock and roll still had, and believed in having, a relevant political purpose. As for the rehersal video, it seems to me that Bono was experimenting on how he wanted to weave the attacks on Gaza and the oppression of Palestinians into the song to remind us all (not to mention Obama – 10 meters away or so) that Palestinians are included in MLKs Dream which is our human dream. The rehearsal to me was more of a sketch, that he would fill out and add color and tone during the real performance which (according to an interview with The Boss) had a strict time limit. If you listen, in the rehearsal he mentions South American (Dream), which I think he correctly replaced with Israeli (Dream). Why? Because it is precisely the paradox that Israeli's get to live (and defend) their Dream, while the Palestinians live an oppressive nightmare with little if any hope for real self-determination as a people. That is unique among all the regions mentioned. This is what MLK spoke for, and that U2 correctly reminded us – and Obama – of at that uniquely American time and place. Thank you Bono, for using the limited time available to remind us all that when it comes to freedom, Palestinians deserve nothing less than Israelis! (I think I even saw Lincoln nod in agreement, and I absolutely felt the spirit of MLK!)

    On a side note, but reflective I think of the U.S. rock n'roll community's political apathy of late: I was disappointed when reading the Rolling Stone print edition that there was no mention of this statement by Bono. Just a big, warm, fluffy photo spread with little connection to the global import of the political event this was.

  10. I was incredibly proud of Bono for doing what he did that day. No American act had the cojones to even make reference to it, and even if they were thinking of it, they were also probably thinking they didn’t want to be a “spoiler”. Who else but Bono and U2 would bring the topic up at that place and time? I say America has been complicit in spoiling the lives of millions of Palestinians for far too long. Bono and U2 were true to their roots as a political band born in the late 70′s when rock and roll still had, and believed in having, a relevant political purpose. As for the rehersal video, it seems to me that Bono was experimenting on how he wanted to weave the attacks on Gaza and the oppression of Palestinians into the song to remind us all (not to mention Obama – 10 meters away or so) that Palestinians are included in MLKs Dream which is our human dream. The rehearsal to me was more of a sketch, that he would fill out and add color and tone during the real performance which (according to an interview with The Boss) had a strict time limit. If you listen, in the rehearsal he mentions South American (Dream), which I think he correctly replaced with Israeli (Dream). Why? Because it is precisely the paradox that Israeli’s get to live (and defend) their Dream, while the Palestinians live an oppressive nightmare with little if any hope for real self-determination as a people. That is unique among all the regions mentioned. This is what MLK spoke for, and that U2 correctly reminded us – and Obama – of at that uniquely American time and place. Thank you Bono, for using the limited time available to remind us all that when it comes to freedom, Palestinians deserve nothing less than Israelis! (I think I even saw Lincoln nod in agreement, and I absolutely felt the spirit of MLK!)

    On a side note, but reflective I think of the U.S. rock n’roll community’s political apathy of late: I was disappointed when reading the Rolling Stone print edition that there was no mention of this statement by Bono. Just a big, warm, fluffy photo spread with little connection to the global import of the political event this was.

  11. Pingback: new hits U2

  12. Bono ( Paul Hewson) has a history of drinking to excess, and cheating on his wife. He is hardly a moral example for us to follow. His money makes him powerful, and I am disgusted that he has the nerve to tell his audiences how to live, and how to vote. If he gets nominated and elected in Ireland, so be it. He can work on the Protestant-Catholic troubles in the North, and improve business relations and unemployment in Ireland, where U2 is tested by many an up and coming young band. Not to be cynical, but he and Dave Evans (The Edge) Larry Mullen JR. and Adam Clayton should resurrect Mother Records and help non Irish bands in the music business, and set an example by donating blood at the Red Cross in Ireland and go back to being local heroes with humility, rather than inflicting their standards of righteousness abroad. I am the Nassau County Executive Committee Chairman to The Constitution Party, and am considering a run for the US Congress 4th Federal district NY State this year, and have a strong history of human rights activity through Amnesty International and The Knights of Columbus, and would like to return the United States to being a Constitutional republic, not one that lies and steals from its citizens and supports wars abroad. Please check http://www.constitutionparty.com for our platform, and please send Federally Insured Bank Checks drawn on US Banks for political expenses not personal ones in accordance with applicable FEC Laws to :Dan Tobin for Congress, 115 Atlantic Ave Apt 2A Hempstead,NY 11550-1204 Thanks in advance for your time and cooperation.

  13. Bono ( Paul Hewson) has a history of drinking to excess, and cheating on his wife. He is hardly a moral example for us to follow. His money makes him powerful, and I am disgusted that he has the nerve to tell his audiences how to live, and how to vote. If he gets nominated and elected in Ireland, so be it. He can work on the Protestant-Catholic troubles in the North, and improve business relations and unemployment in Ireland, where U2 is tested by many an up and coming young band. Not to be cynical, but he and Dave Evans (The Edge) Larry Mullen JR. and Adam Clayton should resurrect Mother Records and help non Irish bands in the music business, and set an example by donating blood at the Red Cross in Ireland and go back to being local heroes with humility, rather than inflicting their standards of righteousness abroad. I am the Nassau County Executive Committee Chairman to The Constitution Party, and am considering a run for the US Congress 4th Federal district NY State this year, and have a strong history of human rights activity through Amnesty International and The Knights of Columbus, and would like to return the United States to being a Constitutional republic, not one that lies and steals from its citizens and supports wars abroad. Please check http://www.constitutionparty.com for our platform, and please send Federally Insured Bank Checks drawn on US Banks for political expenses not personal ones in accordance with applicable FEC Laws to :Dan Tobin for Congress, 115 Atlantic Ave Apt 2A Hempstead,NY 11550-1204 Thanks in advance for your time and cooperation.

  14. Bono ( Paul Hewson) has a history of drinking to excess, and cheating on his wife. He is hardly a moral example for us to follow. His money makes him powerful, and I am disgusted that he has the nerve to tell his audiences how to live, and how to vote. If he gets nominated and elected in Ireland, so be it. He can work on the Protestant-Catholic troubles in the North, and improve business relations and unemployment in Ireland, where U2 is tested by many an up and coming young band. Not to be cynical, but he and Dave Evans (The Edge) Larry Mullen JR. and Adam Clayton should resurrect Mother Records and help non Irish bands in the music business, and set an example by donating blood at the Red Cross in Ireland and go back to being local heroes with humility, rather than inflicting their standards of righteousness abroad. I am the Nassau County Executive Committee Chairman to The Constitution Party, and am considering a run for the US Congress 4th Federal district NY State this year, and have a strong history of human rights activity through Amnesty International and The Knights of Columbus, and would like to return the United States to being a Constitutional republic, not one that lies and steals from its citizens and supports wars abroad. Please check http://www.constitutionparty.com for our platform, and please send Federally Insured Bank Checks drawn on US Banks for political expenses not personal ones in accordance with applicable FEC Laws to :Dan Tobin for Congress, 115 Atlantic Ave Apt 2A Hempstead,NY 11550-1204 Thanks in advance for your time and cooperation.

  15. Bono ( Paul Hewson) has a history of drinking to excess, and cheating on his wife. He is hardly a moral example for us to follow. His money makes him powerful, and I am disgusted that he has the nerve to tell his audiences how to live, and how to vote. If he gets nominated and elected in Ireland, so be it. He can work on the Protestant-Catholic troubles in the North, and improve business relations and unemployment in Ireland, where U2 is tested by many an up and coming young band. Not to be cynical, but he and Dave Evans (The Edge) Larry Mullen JR. and Adam Clayton should resurrect Mother Records and help non Irish bands in the music business, and set an example by donating blood at the Red Cross in Ireland and go back to being local heroes with humility, rather than inflicting their standards of righteousness abroad. I am the Nassau County Executive Committee Chairman to The Constitution Party, and am considering a run for the US Congress 4th Federal district NY State this year, and have a strong history of human rights activity through Amnesty International and The Knights of Columbus, and would like to return the United States to being a Constitutional republic, not one that lies and steals from its citizens and supports wars abroad. Please check http://www.constitutionparty.com for our platform, and please send Federally Insured Bank Checks drawn on US Banks for political expenses not personal ones in accordance with applicable FEC Laws to :Dan Tobin for Congress, 115 Atlantic Ave Apt 2A Hempstead,NY 11550-1204 Thanks in advance for your time and cooperation.