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Posted on on January 20th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (

Bono Gives Palestine an Inaugural Celebration Shout Out
Posted by John Nichols, The Nation, January 19, 2009.

This is “… an Irish dream, a European dream, an African dream … an Israeli dream … and also a Palestinian dream.”

The ‘We Are One’ Obama Inaugural Celebration concert at the Lincoln Memorial Sunday was carefully choreographed to be light on politics. This was always intended as a feel-good event, and it was.

But U2 frontman Bono gave the crowd at least a little something to think about.


Toward the end of the concert that drew half a million people to cheer Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger (singing a spirited “This Land Is Your Land”), Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonder and the president-elect, U2 took the stage.

Before launching into “Pride (In The Name Of Love,” the band’s tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.,) Bono noted that the crowd was gathered on the mall where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

“Let freedom ring. On this spot where we’re standing 46 years ago Dr. King had a dream. On Tuesday, that dream comes to pass,” before launching into ‘Pride (In The Name Of Love)’, U2’s tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This is not just an American dream,” he said, adding that it was “also an Irish dream, a European dream, an African dream… an Israeli dream… and also a Palestinian dream.”


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.

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