Stevie Wonder cancels show at Israel Defense Forces fundraiser

Reuters Middle East

LOS ANGELES, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Veteran singer and United

Nations Messenger of Peace Stevie Wonder has canceled a planned

performance for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces after

several organizations asked him not to perform.

The soul singer, 62, was scheduled to sing at a Dec. 6

fundraising gala in Los Angeles hosted by the Friends of the

Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), an organization set up to help

those serving in the Israel Defense Forces and families of

fallen soldiers.

"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," Wonder said

in a statement sent to Reuters by his spokeswoman.

Wonder said he would make contributions to organizations

that support Israeli and Palestinian children with disabilities.

The singer added that as a Messenger of Peace, a title he's

held since 2009, "I am and have always been against war, any

war, anywhere."

According to a statement from the US Campaign to End the

Israeli Occupation, a coalition that aims to change U.S. policy

toward Palestine and Israel and support human rights and

equality, Wonder's decision came after a "growing outcry" from

several organizations and three international signed petitions.

The protest is part of a "cultural boycott" led by

organizations that oppose Israel's occupation of Palestinian

territories, the statement said.

(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; editing by Todd Eastham)

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