Bono and The Edge pocket millions from deal with Israeli bank

Bono preaches about peace while doing business with a bank profiting from war crimes.

Amiee Stubbs imageSpace / MEGA

A bank enabling Israel’s war crimes has issued a major loan for the purchase of a Dublin hotel owned by Bono and The Edge from the rock band U2.

The loan – worth more than $45 million – was announced this week at a time when the death toll resulting from Israel’s latest bombardment of Gaza is rising rapidly.

The deal means that U2 – a group that constantly preaches about peace and nonviolence – is now tangled up with a bank profiting from Israel’s violations of international law.

That unsavory fact has not been spelled out in press coverage.

A front page story in The Irish Times reports that “UK lender Leumi” is providing “assistance” to the deal.

The story fails to explain that LeumiUK is a subsidiary of Israel’s Bank Leumi.

Rock stars get richer

Bank Leumi has been listed in a UN database of firms profiting from Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land.

It has financed a large number of projects in settlements which Israel is building in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, the construction and expansion of those settlements amount to war crimes.

Known as The Clarence, the hotel owned by Bono and The Edge since 1992 is being fully bought by Paddy McKillen Jnr. and Matt Ryanhotshots in Dublin’s restaurant and entertainment scene – thanks to the Leumi loan.

The business duo had already held a lease on the hotel, though they are now acquiring the stake held by Bono and The Edge.

The deal means that two of the world’s most famous rock stars are getting richer from a transaction with a bank that abets Israel’s war crimes.

Boasting a bar with an admittedly convivial atmosphere, The Clarence has long been a popular spot to unwind for musicians and other artists, as well as for tourists.

Following the sordid deal with Bank Leumi, The Clarence’s reputation as a cool hangout must now be weighed against its links to war crimes.