“There’s somebody here who’s got one of the hardest jobs on Earth,” Bono told the crowd on Tuesday at Toronto’s Air Canada Center during the encore of Tuesday stop on U2’s Innocence and Experience World Tour. “And he’s here with us tonight. And it’s a very serious job—somebody who’s active as the voice of reason in a region where the loudest voices are often the bellicose ones. And Nobel laureate Shimon Peres is here in the house tonight…”
The crowd cheered.
“We understand President Peres that you have tried to be the voice of reason and you dedicated a lot of your life—all of your life—to try to bring peace to this really dangerous region. And we wish you and your family safe (sic). And we wish you who worked so hard in Oslo for that incredible Oslo accord that you don’t give up on the two-state solution.”
The crown cheered and clapped again, as U2 broke into their ballad “One.”
And it appears that Bono, according to The Times of Israel, chimed in about about his feelings towards the region prior to singing “One:”
…before playing the song “Pride (In the Name of Love),” Bono entreated the crowd to give love to Israel, and the Palestinians, and everyone in the Middle East that needs it.
In case you were wondering, Peres was in the Canadian capital to speak at an event called the “World Economic Forum,” taking place from July 8-10. The Jerusalem Post reported that Peres “received a phone call at his hotel with an invitation to attend U2’s concert as a personal guest of the band, who performed once in Israel in 1997.”
The U2 concert took place on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the beginning of Operation Protective Edge.
After the show, Bono and Peres met backstage and hugged.
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Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.