Music legend Stevie Wonder has cancelled his performance at a fundraising concert for ‘The Friends of the Israel Defence Forces’.
Wonder cancelled his performance because of the latest aggression by Israel forces against the people of Gaza. Wonder said “I am and have always been against war, any war, anywhere.”
Being an official UN ‘Messenger of Peace’, Wonder was advised by UN officials that performing at the concert may send out the wrong message to the world. Wonder said “Given the current and very delicate situation in the Middle East, and with a heart that has always cried out for world unity, I will not be performing,”
The performance of Stevie Wonder at the benefit concert had attracted criticism from several organisations campaigning for an end to the Israeli occupation of Gaza, including three international signed petitions.
Movements to implement a cultural boycott of Israel have targeted other artists, including Alanis Morisette.
We feel it is unfortunate that artists feel unable to perform in Israel, but it is understandable. Artists are often judged by their perceived associations, and being associated with Israel at the current time is something that perhaps no artist who has a conscience would want.
It is also unfortunate that it is the Israeli people who will be denied the opportunity to experience live performances by international performers. But this is the result of their government’s actions and it is up to the Israeli people to change Israel.