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Bono Dedicates ‘Pride (In the Name of Love)’ to Israeli Victims of Hamas Attack on Dance Festival: ‘Our Prayers Have Always Been for Peace’

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U2 have been advocates for peace and justice for nearly a half century. Which his why it was not surprising that during Sunday night’s (Oct. 8) show at the new Sphere in Las Vegas singer Bono took time out to acknowledge the devastating aftermath of a brutal surprise assault by Hamas militants early Saturday morning o Israel that has so far resulted in the deaths of more than 700 Israelis, including 260 killed at the Supernova desert dance festival.

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“In the light of what’s happened in Israel and Gaza, a song about non-violence seems somewhat ridiculous, even laughable, but our prayers have always been for peace and for non-violence…” the band wrote on Instagram next to a video of Bono introducing their enduring 1984 tribute to late civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Pride (In the Name of Love),” which they added to the middle of setlist.

“But our hearts and our anger, you know where that’s pointed. So sing with us… and those beautiful kids at that music festival…,” he added with a hitch in his voice about the 3,500 people who were attending the rave just miles from the Gaza border. In the accompanying clip, Bono updated the song’s lyrics, singing, “Early morning, Oct. 7, as the sun is rising in the desert sky/ Stars of David, they took your life/ But they could not take your pride/ Could not take your pride/ Could not take your pride,” as the band rushed into the song’s uplifting chorus.

The U2 tribute came after the multi-pronged attack from Hamas militants from Gaza, who surprised Israelis during the Sukkot Jewish holiday with an early morning attack from the air, sea and land that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called an act of war.

To date, in addition to the dead and 2,400 wounded Israelis — as well as an as-yet-undetermined number of kidnapped civilians and members of the military — the fast-moving, escalating conflict has also resulted in more than 560 dead and 2,700 wounded in Gaza.

Like U2, Madonna decried the “devastating” attack in a post, saying that watching “all of these families and especially children herded, assaulted and murdered in the streets is Heartbreaking.” The violence also resulted in Bruno Mars cancelling a planned concert in Tel Aviv on Saturday. On Sunday, President Biden said he had been in touch with Netanyahu to express “my full support for the people of Israel in the face of an unprecedented and appalling assault by Hamas terrorists. We will remain in close contact over the coming days. The U.S. will continue to stand with the people of Israel.”

Watch U2’s tribute below.

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