Singer Stevie Wonder backed out of a performance of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Dec. 6 gala in Los Angeles due to “a recommendation from the United Nations to withdraw,” FIDF said Thursday.
Representatives for the 25-time Grammy Award winner said the UN made its recommendation “given Wonder’s involvement with the organization,” according to FIDF.
“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 wellbeing needs of Israel’s soldiers, their families, and the families of fallen soldiers,” FIDF National Director and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon said in a statement. “FIDF is a non-political organization that provides much-needed humanitarian support regardless of religion, political affiliation, or military activity.”
Prior to Wonder’s decision to cancel his performance, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists posted a petition urging the singer to back out on Change.org. That petition garnered more than 4,600 signatures.
Israeli-American billionaire and media mogul Haim Saban is the chair of FIDF’s Los Angeles gala, which will still feature 16-time Grammy winner David Foster, as well as actor Jason Alexander as emcee.