Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Petitions, Letters, Articles, Video Urge Motown Legend Stevie Wonder to Refrain from Playing for Israel Military Forces Fundraiser Gala

(30 Nov) UPDATE:  Stevie Wonder has made a statement about his choice to boycott Israel's FIDF event, as posted by Radio Free 102.3 FM KJLH in Los Angeles:

A Message from Stevie Wonder

"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 at the FIDF Gala on December 6th. I am respectfully withdrawing my participation from this year's event to avoid the appearance of partiality. As a Messenger of Peace, I am and have always been against war, any war, anywhere. In consistently keeping with my spirit of giving, I will make a personal contribution to organizations that support Israeli and Palestinian children with disabilities.
Hoping for one world, one people, one day, Stevie Wonder."

(29 Nov) UPDATE:  Stevie Wonder has chosen to honor the cultural boycott of Israel, and refuse to play for the fundraiser for Israel's military forces event.  The Jewish Journal reported today that:

“Representatives of the performer cited a recommendation from the United Nations to withdraw his participation given Wonder’s involvement with the organization.  FIDF National Director and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon: ‘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 is a non-political organization that provides much-needed humanitarian support regardless of religion, political affiliation, or military activity.’”
Wonder as UN Messenger of Peace


(28 Nov) The cultural boycott of Israel currently takes on a fast and energy driven momentum with last minute calls by thousands asking Stevie Wonder to cancel a gig which was just announced last Sunday.  
Its hard to even keep track of the many letters, petitions, and articles written asking the Motown legend Wonder to bow out of a politically driven event in Los Angeles, which celebrates Israel's military forces, and raises money for its recruits.  
A video featuring Alice Walker, recorded on her visit to Gaza after the 2009 Cast Lead attack by Israel, informs Wonder about the dire conditions seen in Gaza's hospitals, and the horrific effects on children by Israel's use of advanced weaponry (used on Gaza's captive population).
   
A facebook page was set up by cultural BDS supporters and attempts to keep track of all the actions around the world asking Stevie Wonder to cancel his gig on 6 December.  With over 800 "likes" in less than 2 days, the facebook page "Stevie Wonder say No to Israeli Defense Forces Gala" continue to grow at an amazing pace.  

SIGNATURES ON PETITIONS GROW BY THE HOUR
One petition has gathered 3,478 signatures, stating:  "We call on Stevie Wonder, as a conscientious American advocate for human rights and dignity not to support the Israeli Defense Force by performing at their gala fundraiser."
Another petition has 3,726 signatures, the author writes: "dear: stevie wonder please don't play for war criminals. the idf has committed numerous war crimes in the west bank and gaza. over sixty years of occupation,racism,ethnic cleansing,house demos,land grabs,evictions,and other war crimes.  The annual gala of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) organization will be held on Thursday, December 6, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.pleae don't play for apartied,please support bds! boycott,divestment,and santions, thank you and god bless you!"

Human rights organizations are being asked to sign onto the open letter Stevie Wonder: Don't Be a Part-Time Lover of Justice! penned by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Alexander Billet writes an article titled "Will Israeli apartheid steal Stevie Wonder’s soul?"  chronicling Wonder's history of social conscience during the time of apartheid in South Africa.  

Many personal open letters have hit the internet and an event has also been created on facebook with over 700 attendees who agree to spread the petition on change.org around.

The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) has also published an extensive twitter alert, telling Motown Records on twitter (@motown) about Israel's apartheid policies and more. With 6 "tweet now" samples, the twitter sphere is creating a sensation that Motown Records cannot ignore.  Some examples:
Stevie: We Just Called to Say, Don’t Entertain Apartheid! http://bit.ly/Wuc1ZU #BDS #Palestine cc @motown tweet now!
Be the Sunshine of My Life, don’t play for apartheid. Ask @motown’s Stevie Wonder to cancel! http://bit.ly/Wuc1ZU #BDS tweet now!
For the IDF, ‘These Three Words’ are apartheid, occupation & siege: cancel your gig Stevie! http://bit.ly/Wuc1ZU cc @motown  tweet now!
The cultural boycott of Israel is a rallying point for human rights supporters.  Whether they support one-state or two-state, they all agree on one thing:  Stevie Wonder should not play for Israel's poltiics.

UPDATE:  Israeli citizens urge Wonder to reconsider his plans  at http://boycottisrael.info/content/israeli-citizens-stevie-wonder-please-reconsider-fidf-concert

Palestinian fan Bassem Nasir writes to Wonder from Ramalleh, Occupied Palestine at http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=3364

Palestinian musician Tariq Shadid speaks to Wonder through another video at http://youtu.be/6kR99M75T6A