Stevie Wonder Pulls Out of IDF Fundraiser
- 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.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]