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U2: From ‘The Joshua Tree’ to ‘Cedars of Lebanon’

Two decades after releasing “The Joshua Tree,” U2 has turned its attention to “Cedars of Lebanon.”

Mentioned in the books of Isaiah, Ezekiel and Psalms, among others, the trees are now also being referenced by the singer Bono, in the final song on U2’s latest album. The Irish band’s “No Line on the Horizon,” which arrives in stores today, closes with the Middle East-inspired number, a vaguely peace-themed song with lyrics about “unholy clouds reflecting in a minaret.”

“Choose your enemies carefully, ’cause they will define you,” Bono instructs, also describing a soldier from an unnamed country “bring[ing] oranges he got from a tank.”

The singer, known in recent years for his activism on behalf of Africa, seems to have had the Middle East on his mind in recent months. At a Washington, D.C., concert on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the singer said President Obama’s election represented the realization of “the Israeli dream and also the Palestinian dream” — as well as “the Irish dream, the European dream, the African dream.”

U2 last performed in Israel in September 1997.

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