Stevie Wonder has canceled a performance at fundraising gala for the Friends of the Israel Defence Forces, Reuters reports. He was scheduled to sing at the December 6th event in Los Angeles for the organization, which aids people serving in Israel’s military, as well as the families of fallen soldiers.
“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,” Wonder said in a statement sent to Reuters. “I am and have always been against war, any war, anywhere,” he added.
The planned appearance by the singer, who has held the title of United Nations Messenger of Peace since 2009, drew criticism from several organizations, including the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Wonder said in his statement that he will be donating to organizations that support Israeli and Palestinian children with disabilities.