Wonder Pulls Out Of Gig For Israeli Forces

Wonder Pulls Out Of Gig For Israeli Forces

Stevie Wonder has pulled out of a performance he was due to give in support of Israeli soldiers next week.

The celebrated singer and UN Messenger of Peace had been due to sing at a fundraising gala in Los Angeles on December 6, hosted by the Friends of the Israel Defence Forces (FIDF).

But the singer, 62, withdrew from the event after several groups asked him not to back the cause which supports those serving in Israel's armed 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.

The singer added that as a Messenger of Peace, a title he has held since 2009: "I am respectfully withdrawing my participation from this year's event to avoid the appearance of partiality.

"I am and have always been against war, any war, anywhere.

"In consistently keeping with my spirit of giving, I will make a personal contribution to organisations that support Israeli and Palestinian children with disabilities. Hoping for one world, one people, one day, Stevie Wonder." 

According to a statement from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation , a coalition that aims to change US policy toward the Palestinian state and Israel and support human rights and equality, Wonder's decision came after a "growing outcry".

The protest is part of a "cultural boycott" led by organisations that oppose Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories, the statement said.

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