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Your Black World reported on Wednesday that Stevie Wonder was slated to perform at a gala to benefit Israeli troops. That news was met with outrage from activists, who pointed to Israel’s atrocities committed against Palestinians as reason enough for Wonder to decline the invitation.
The outrage reached its peak with a Change.org petition for Wonder to cancel his scheduled appearance:
We call on Stevie Wonder, as a conscientious American advocate for human rights and dignity not to support the Israeli Defense Force by performing at their gala fundraiser. In the face of over 60 years of Israeli colonization of Palestinian land and the disenfranchisement of the Palestinian people and in the wake of Israel’s latest violent aggression against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip– we ask you NOT to support the IDF.
It now seems that the pressure has gotten to Stevie Wonder, forcing him to cancel his performance.
The Jewish Telegraph Agency, a news source for the American Jewish community, reports that Wonder’s camp now says he is poised to release a statement saying he has decided to withdraw from a commitment to headline a Dec. 6 benefit for the Israeli Defense Forces.
Sources say Wonder believes taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict clashes with his role as a “Messenger of Peace” for the United Nations. He has held that title since 2009.
Wonder has not released an official statement yet.