Orphaned Land frontman Kobi Farhi has written an open letter to one of his heroes, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, urging the American musician to bring his band to Israel for the first time.
In July this year, during the Israel-Hamas war, Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder paused his concert midway to criticize Israel and launch an anti-war plea.
“What the f---? What the f---? We can have this many people having a peaceful time. We can have modern technology. We can reach our friends. We know what they’re thinking before they’re thinking it. The advertisers know what we’re thinking before we’re thinking it. We have technology – all this in our hands,” he said.
“At the same time that something this positive is happening, not even that far away, people are f---ing dropping bombs on each other.”
He got a lot of flak for his comments and anti-Israel stance even though he maintained that he was anti-war. "[War] hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on," he said.
Israeli DJ Ben Red condemned Vedder on Facebook, “Eddie Vedder, your true face is finally being revealed," he wrote. "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."
However, there is another missive from Israel for Vedder and the two cannot be more opposite in nature.
Kobi Farhi, frontman for a progressive Israeli band, Orphaned Land, wrote an open letter to Vedder asking him to come to Israel.
"Eddie – Music is a cure, music enters our hearts, brings tears to our eyes, gives us hopes in moments of fear, it’s a simple light in a twisted darkness; music is the best gift of the universe. Nothing new here – you know it.
"Yes, bad things are happening in many places in this world, and that's the reason we need to be together, sing with our eyes closed, hearts open and our faces towards the stars. It is needed now more than ever. It’s your duty, as well as ours,” he wrote.
“If music is the greatest form of harmony, can you agree with me that it’s mostly needed in places that suffer from disharmony?
"It has nothing to do with supporting governments or being one sided in conflicts. It’s about you and your fans, people whom you entered their hearts like a bullet of never ending flame.
"Eddie, my friend whom I’ve never met – come to the promised land, bring your light, be our Moses for a few hours, let us hear you, let us sing with you,” he requested in the end.
Kobi Farhi’s letter wins the day.
The band Orphaned Land has always propagated peace and harmony and this initiative is just one more effort in that direction. Their efforts and hope for co-existence are reflected throughout their two decade-long career.
The band has always believed that "people should be judged by their hearts and inner sincerity, not their religious beliefs."
Indeed the solution to a conflict can never be aggression no matter how justified it feels.
If only this made sense to those in power.