U2 dedicates performance of ‘One’ to Shimon Peres

Gabe Friedman

U2 performing in New Jersey on July 20, 2011. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

U2 performing in New Jersey on July 20, 2011. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres may be a big U2 fan, but it seems like Bono is an even bigger Shimon Peres fan.

Peres, who was in town for an economic conference, was part of the crowd at U2’s performance at the Air Canada Center, in Toronto, Canada. During the band’s encore, Bono took advantage of the opportunity to praise Peres — who also did a stint as Israel’s president until retiring last year — for his efforts to broker a two-state solution.

“There’s somebody here who’s got one of the hardest jobs on earth,” Bono said, referring to Peres, “somebody who has acted as the voice of reason in a region where the loudest voices are often the bellicose ones.”

“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,” the Irish rock star continued. “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.”

Before launching into the band’s 1992 hit “One,” Bono said, “We’re going to sing this song with two ancient peoples in mind.”

Bono and Peres met after the show, and the Times of Israel reported that Peres called Bono “a voice for hope and peace.”

Watch Bono’s tribute to Peres at around 17:40 in the video below.