Hailing Shimon Peres’s lifelong peace efforts, U2 lead singer Bono dedicated the last song of the band’s concert in Toronto on Tuesday to the former president, who was in the audience and who he also met with backstage.
Just before starting to play “One,” the final encore of the show at the 20,000-capacity Air Canada Center, Bono told a cheering audience that the president was in the house, and then launched into a passionate appreciation of him.
The singer introduced “somebody here who’s got one of the hardest jobs on earth…. somebody who has acted as the voice of reason in a region where the loudest voices are often the bellicose ones. Nobel peace laureate Shimon Peres is here in the house tonight,” said Bono.
“We understand, president Peres, that you have tried to be the voice of reason. And you’ve dedicated a lot of your life, all of your life, to try and bring peace in this really dangerous region,” said the singer.
“And we wish you and your family safe. We wish that you, who worked so hard for that incredible Oslo Accord, that you don’t give up on the two-state solution. At age 92, we know we can count on you.”
The Irish rocker finished by saying, “We’re going to sing this song with two ancient peoples in mind. This is called ‘One’. Mr. President, we’re all going to sing it to you.”
Bono hails Peres, at about 17:30 in the clip below:
Earlier, 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.
After the show, Bono and the former president met backstage. The singer told Peres that U2’s job was easy – the band only sings about peace, while Peres, he said, realizes it.
Peres, who was in Canada for an economic conference, returned the compliment, calling Bono “a voice for hope and peace.”