Stevie Wonder backs out of IDF gala performance

The singer will no longer participate, noting that he is a "Messenger of Peace" for the U.N.

By Prachi Gupta
Published November 29, 2012 8:40PM (EST)

A petition asking Stevie Wonder not to play at the Dec. 6 Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces fundraising event in Los Angeles only needed 419 more signatures -- but it looks like its organizers won't need them anymore. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that Wonder, who is a United Nations "Messenger of Peace," has backed out of the performance, citing a "recommendation from the United Nations to withdraw his participation." The FIDF fundraiser is expected to raise millions of dollars in support of the Israeli military.

Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon, the national director and CEO of Friends of the IDF, said in a press release, "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 well-being needs of Israel’s soldiers, their families, and the families of fallen soldiers."

The petition, however, called the IDF "an institution which promotes, enables, and protects Israel's Apartheid regime."

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

MORE FROM Prachi GuptaFOLLOW prachiguLIKE Prachi Gupta

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Concert Gaza Idf Israel Music Stevie Wonder