Stevie Wonder: Don't Be a Part-Time Lover of Justice!
Dear Stevie Wonder,
We are a diverse group of people of conscience and social justice organizations around the world, saddened by the announcement that you will be performing and helping to raise money for the Israeli army next Thursday, December 6th, at the LA Friends of the IDF Annual Gala.
In 1985, you showed the world that you opposed Apartheid in South Africa when you were arrested protesting the Apartheid regime and in your song, “It’s Wrong (Apartheid).” Now, 27 years later, we wish to say: Apartheid is still wrong.
Today, the Israeli army is enforcing a system that South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has described as even worse than Apartheid in South Africa. And 15 years ago this week, Nelson Mandela himself said: “we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
Israel’s illegal military occupation denies the fundamental human rights of Palestinians through a system of segregated roads, buses, legal systems, and more. Palestinian homes, schools, hospitals, and entire villages are demolished to clear areas for Israeli Jewish-only settlement. Thousands of Palestinians are held without charge and tortured in Israeli prisons, including children. Palestinian olive groves are razed, burned, or confiscated. Palestinians inside Israel are prohibited from living on the vast majority of the land because they are not Jewish, while millions more Palestinians are forced to live in exile. And the 1.7 million Palestinian men, women, and children in Gaza live under constant fear of U.S.-funded drones, missiles, and tanks that have wrought death and devastation, including in the army’s recent attacks on Gaza that killed more than 130 Palestinians, most of them civilians.
Three years ago, you were designated a "Messenger of Peace" by the United Nations. November 29th -- one week before your scheduled performance -- is the UN's International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Please be that messenger of peace by refusing to entertain or fundraise for a military that continues to systematically oppress an entire population.
Please 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.