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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Stevie Wonder’

Friends of IDF Event Spurned by Stevie Wonder Raises More Than $14 Million

Monday, December 10th, 2012

The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces fundraiser that singer Stevie Wonder pulled out of raised more than $14 million.

More than 1,400 people attended the event in Los Angeles to aid Israeli soldiers. Entertainment mogul Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl chaired the gala. Saban is a national board member of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

Actor Jason Alexander emceed the event, which featured a performance by David Foster and Friends. Surprise musical performances were presented by by “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard and 10-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan.

Wonder had come under intense social media pressure to pull out of the event. An online petition calling on him to cancel his performance had garnered more than 3,600 signatures.

The Grammy-winning singer’s representatives cited a recommendation from the United Nations to withdraw his participation given his involvement with the U.N. Wonder as a Messenger of Peace of the world body. He had performed at a 1998 gala honoring Israel’s 50th anniversary.

Funds raised at the event will go toward Friends of the IDF’s well-being and educational programs for Israeli soldiers and the Negev Wellbeing and Educational Centers.

Source: Stevie Wonder to Cancel Friends of IDF Gig

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Stevie Wonder is set to pull out of a performance at a fundraiser for the Israel Defense Forces,  a source told JTA.

Wonder’s representatives will claim that he did not know the nature of the group, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, and that he believes such a performance would be incongruent with his status as a U.N. “Messenger of Peace,” according to a source who has read email exchanges between Wonder’s representatives and organizers of the event.

Wonder was scheduled to headline the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces annual gala in Los Angeles on Dec. 6. The event raises millions of dollars annually to support the Israeli military.

An official of Friends of the IDF, reached at its Los Angeles office, had no comment. Wonder’s agent at Creative Artists Agency did not return a request for comment.

The spokesman for the U.N. Secretary General also had no comment on the matter.

The United Nations does not impose restrictions on its goodwill representatives. Wonder most recently performed at a U.N. concert commemoratiing its 67th anniversary. Elie Wiesel, the Nobele Peace Laureate and Holocaust memoirist who is also a staunch defender of Israel is also a U.N. Messenger of Peace.

Wonder had come under intense social media pressure to pull out of the event. An online petition calling on him to cancel his performance had garnered more than 3,600 signatures.

The petition was launched more than a day ago on the change.org website.

“You were arrested in 1985 protesting South African Apartheid, now we ask you: please remember that apartheid is apartheid, whether it comes from White Afrikaaner settlers of South Africa or from Jewish Israelis in Israel,” the petition reads. “Desmond Tutu has recognized that Israel’s Apartheid is worse than South Africa’s — will you stand with us against apartheid and cancel your performance at the IDF fundraiser.”

A second petition, launched by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, calls on Wonder to “(p)lease continue your legacy of speaking out for the oppressed. Please be a ‘full-time lover’ of justice by standing on the right side of history and canceling your performance for the Israeli army.”

Wonder performed at a 1998 gala honoring Israel’s 50th anniversary.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/source-stevie-wonder-to-cancel-friends-of-idf-gig/2012/11/29/

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