Stevie Wonder Withdraws from Israel Army Fundraiser
Stevie Wonder will not be a part of a fundraising event that is being arranged for the benefit of Israeli army. The legendary singer was originally scheduled to perform at the said event but has now decided to pull out due to heavy criticism being directed at him from his fans and even the United Nations for whom he is an official Messenger of Peace.
His representatives sent a statement to Reuters in which he said: "Given the current and very delicate situation in the Middle East, and with a heart that has always cried out for world unity, I will not be performing at the FIDF Gala. I am and have always been against war, any war, anywhere."
The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) fundraiser will take place on this coming Thursday at Los Angeles' Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Wonder's withdrawal hasn't changed David Foster's plans who is expected to go through with his performance at the fundraiser, which will be hosted by comedian Jason Alexander.
After the "Superstition" hitmaker's statement went public, FIDF's chief executive Yitzhak Gershon told the press: "We regret the fact that Stevie Wonder has decided to cancel his performance at an important community event of the FIDF, an American organization supporting the educational, cultural, and wellbeing needs of Israel's soldiers, their families, and the families of fallen soldiers.
"FIDF is a non-political organization that provides much-needed humanitarian support regardless of religion, political affiliation, or military activity."
Wonder took the decision after a petition against his participation in the event was initiated on website change.org.
The petition read: "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."
It further added: "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."
The 62-year-old crooner, who has previously taken part in pro-Israel events, will now team up with charity organisations that work for the benefit of disabled children in the war-stricken region.
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