Bono Pays Moving Tribute to Israeli Victims at Las Vegas U2 Concert – Kveller
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Bono Pays Moving Tribute to Israeli Victims at Las Vegas U2 Concert

The Irish singer changed the lyrics of one of the band's most popular songs to memorialize the over 200 Israelis killed at the Supernova nature festival.

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 12: Bono of U2 performs on stage at Mediolanum Forum on October 12, 2018 in Milan, Italy.

via Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images

Like many of you, I’ve been overtaken by grief about the horrors out of Israel. What happened Saturday is an unprecedented massacre of Israelis, the biggest mass killing of Jews since the end of the Holocaust. The images and reports of cruelty and inhumanity are too much to bear.

One of the first sites of the massacre was an electronic music festival that took place in Kibbutz Re’im, close to the border with the Gaza Strip, called the Supernova Festival, in which hundreds were killed and dozens were captured.

At a U2 concert in Las Vegas this weekend, the Irish band and its lead singer, Bono, took a moment to pay tribute to the victims of that festival while singing their famous “Pride (In the Name of Love),” the 1984 song that Bono wrote as a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., and which remains one of the bands most popular songs of all times. It was an incredibly moving, heartfelt moment.

“In light of what’s happened in Israel and Gaza, a song about non-violence seems somewhat ridiculous, even laughable,” Bono told the crowd at the Sphere arena. “But our prayers have always been for peace and for non-violence.”

“Our hearts and our anger, you know where that’s pointed,” he said, asking the concert goers to sing with him for “those beautiful kids at that music festival.”

“Sing for our brothers and sisters, who they themselves were singing at the Supernova Sukkot Festival,” Bono urged those around him, calling the attendees of the festival “our people, our kind of people, music people, playful, experimental people. We sing for them.”

Then, as he sometimes does during different political and world events, Bono changed the lyrics of the song to honor the victims. “Early morning October 7, the sun is rising in the desert sky,” he crooned, referring to the date, time and location of the attack, and then called those killed “stars of David,” immortalizing them with the iconic lyric: ” They took your life, but they could not take your pride.”

At least 260 bodies were uncovered at the scene of the all night festival, which featured DJs from across the world, including Japan, Hungary, France, the UK and more. It was organized by the Israeli group Tribe of Nova, a collaboration with the Brazilian psy-trance Universo Parallelo festival. On the festival’s events page which was filled with excitement about the upcoming celebration, its organizers described the guiding principals of the event to be environmental preservation and free love and spirit, and described the event as a journey where “the essence of unity and love combines forces with the best music.” It makes the lyrics “in the name of love” feel even more apt to honor these murdered youths.

At around 6 a.m. on October 7, Hamas fighters paraglided and drove into festival grounds, kidnapping and killing many. Survivors describe hiding for almost six hours in complete silence while witnessing the terrible sights. A video of two of the attendees, Noa Argamani and her partner Avinatan Or, was widely shared, showing Noa being driven away on the motorbike while crying out. A video of German-Israeli citizen Shani Louk in the moments before the attack went viral, and videos of her kidnapped body were apparently shared by Hamas. Some of the victims of the attack include soccer player Lior Asulin and the sister of Israeli TV presenter Maayan Adam. The story of journalist Nir Guntraz, who attempted to get a weapon to go in and save his son, Amir, was shared far and wide. In the end, former Knesset member Yair Golan ended up rescuing Amir in his private vehicle after Guntraz shared his location with him, but so many of the around 3,000 attendees were not so lucky. “Everyone around me died,” one of the survivors told N12 today.


It is really hard to deal with the grief and pain and all that has happened in the last few days in Israel, but Bono’s words are such a comfort in this fraught time.

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