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May 27, 2015 3:30 pm

OneRepublic Surprises Israeli Soldiers With Visit to Iron Dome Battery

avatar by David Daoud

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OneRepublic's band members surprised Israeli soldiers manning an Iron Dome battery in Ashkelon with a visit. PHOTO: Mako/ Israeli Air Force.

Members of the popular pop rock band OneRepublic, who are currently touring Israel, surprised IDF soldiers manning an Iron Dome missile defense battery in Ashkelon with a visit on Wednesday morning.

While some international artists have backed away from performing in the country, in response to demands to boycott the Jewish sate, OneRepublic is among other international music sensations who have nevertheless decided to perform for Israeli fans. With their concert scheduled for tomorrow, the group has meanwhile been touring the country.

The band members commended the soldiers, telling them they feel safer in Israel than anywhere else in the world, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

The soldiers said they were thrilled to meet the band members and expressed appreciation for their compliments, according to the report.

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The band members were also very surprised to discover the young age of the soldiers manning the battery.

The band’s performance tomorrow will be before an audience  of 20,000 at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park. Ryan Tedder, the group’s lead singer, promised Israeli fans a “hot” performance.

He also addressed the more serious topic of pressure from anti-Israel groups directed at compelling the band to withdraw from the Israel gig. Tedder said pressure was brought to bear via social media networks calling on the group to boycott Israel.

He said the band understands that they also have many Palestinian fans, and asserted that OneRepublic’s decision to perform in Israel does not in any way diminish their appreciation of the group.

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