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Stevie Wonder Pulls Out of IDF Fundraiser

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  • Cort Greene
    Stevie Wonder Pulls Out of IDF FundraiserPetition Called on R&B Star To Shun Israel Army EventBy JTA Published November 28,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 29, 2012
      Stevie Wonder Pulls Out of IDF FundraiserPetition Called on R&B Star To
      Shun Israel Army EventBy JTA <http://forward.com/authors/jta/>
      Published November 28, 2012.

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      Stevie Wonder is set to pull out of a performance at a fundraiser for the
      Israel Defense Forces, a source told JTA.

      Wonder�s representatives will claim that he did not know the nature of the
      group, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, and that he believes such
      a performance would be incongruent with his status as a U.N. �Messenger of
      Peace,� according to a source who has read email exchanges between Wonder�s
      representatives and organizers of the event.

      Wonder was scheduled to headline the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces
      annual gala in Los Angeles on Dec. 6. The event raises millions of dollars
      annually to support the Israeli military.

      An official of Friends of the IDF, reached at its Los Angeles office, had
      no comment. Wonder�s agent at Creative Artists Agency did not return a
      request for comment.

      The spokesman for the U.N. Secretary General also had no comment on the
      matter. The United Nations does not usually impose restrictions on its
      goodwill representatives. Wonder most recently performed at a U.N. concert
      commemoratiing its 67th anniversary.

      Wonder had come under intense social media pressure to pull out of the
      event. An online petition calling on him to cancel his performance had
      garnered more than 3,600 signatures.

      The petition was launched more than a day ago on the change.org website.

      �You were arrested in 1985 protesting South African Apartheid, now we ask
      you: please remember that apartheid is apartheid, whether it comes from
      White Afrikaaner settlers of South Africa or from Jewish Israelis in
      Israel,� the petition reads. �Desmond Tutu has recognized that Israel�s
      Apartheid is worse than South Africa�s � will you stand with us against
      apartheid and cancel your performance at the IDF fundraiser.�

      A second petition, launched by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli
      Occupation, calls on Wonder to �(p)lease continue your legacy of speaking
      out for the oppressed. Please be a �full-time lover� of justice by standing
      on the right side of history and canceling your performance for the Israeli

      Wonder performed at a 1998 gala honoring Israel�s 50th anniversary.

      Read more:

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