A Change.org 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."