Stevie Wonder Disgraces Himself with Concert for Israeli Military

Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 11/27/2012 - 21:02
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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Stevie Wonder, who once penned a song against apartheid in South Africa, will star at a fundraiser for the Israeli military, early next month. How shocking that a Black cultural icon would help throw a party for the soldiers of “a system that some describe as even worse than that practiced by the white South African regime.”

 

Stevie Wonder Disgraces Himself with Concert for Israeli Military

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

One of Black America’s most beloved artists has signed, sealed and delivered his vast talents in service to the murderous military of a racist, criminal regime.”

Say it ain’t so, Stevie Wonder. The music superstar is lending his name and talents to one of the most unworthy causes in the world: a salute to the Israeli Defense Forces, in Los Angeles, on December 6. Stevie Wonder will help raise millions for an Israeli war machine that is already funded by U.S. taxpayers to the tune of billions of dollars a year. It is a shame and a disgrace that one of Black America’s most beloved artists has signed, sealed and delivered his vast talents in service to the murderous military of a racist, criminal regime. It’s an even bigger shame that there will likely be no punishment for Stevie Wonder from his many fans, in this, the Age of Obama.

Even a generation ago, in the 1980s, Stevie Wonder could not have expected immunity from mass condemnation for helping throw a party for a racist government – for any amount of money. Back in 1985, the South African regime tried to blunt the global anti-apartheid movement by inviting American entertainers of all races to perform at Sun City, the white regime’s version of Las Vegas. Sun City was built in Bophuthatswana, a poverty-stricken black bantustan. Lots of U.S. entertainers, including some Black ones, allowed themselves to be bought off by the white regime’s deep pockets. These included Tina Turner, The O’Jays, Dionne Warwick and Ray Charles. Famously, while Blacks outside the Sun City venue loudly protested his appearance, Ray Charles ostentatiously patted his back pocket, signaling that he was all about the money.

Other entertainers came together under the banner of Artists United Against Apartheid, to shame those that sold themselves to racists. Little Steven Van Zandt brought together 50 artists to record “I ain’t gonna play Sun City,” which was also made into an award-winning video. The cast included RUN DMC, Jimmy Cliff, George Clinton, Afrika Bambaataa, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Bobbie Womack, Kurtis Blow…and those are just some of the Black ones.

Entertainers came together under the banner of Artists United Against Apartheid, to shame those that sold themselves to racists.”

Funds raised from “I ain’t gonna play Sun City” went to a host of anti-apartheid organizations around the world, including Washington-based TransAfrica and the American Committee on Africa.

Sun City still exists as a tourist attraction in Black-ruled South Africa. The Black population that had been forced out of their homes to make room for the resort were given back title to their land.

Stevie Wonder, himself, recorded a song condemning apartheid. Titled, “It’s Wrong (Apartheid),” the song includes these lyrics directed toward the white leaders of South Africa.

The pain you cause in God's name
Points only to yourself to blame
For the negative karma you will be receiving…”

By selling his good name and great talents to the Israeli Defense Forces, Stevie Wonder is contributing to Israeli apartheid – a system that some describe as even worse than that practiced by the white South African regime. Decent men and women seek to boycott and isolate Israel and its military, while Stevie Wonder helps it throw a party. In his own words, Stevie is earning himself some very “negative karma.”

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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23 comments

yes, sad, see UPDATES - He's UN Messenger for Peace

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Wed, 12/05/2012 - 09:21.

UPDATE Dec.5: brief story in Headlines, today's Dem.Now. on the Treaty and Senate vote (5 votes shy of passage) www.democracynow.org  -good soundbites, but missing, again on DemNow are people with disabilities on the rare coverage of disability.  Suggestions: Diane Coleman, Exec Dir of NotDeadYet, Stephen Drake, researcher/blog on NotDeadYet and Bruce Darling or other available persons to speak with news media from ADAPT.  www.notdeadyet.org (I comment on NotDeadYet blog.)

www.adapt.org  

NEWS:Dec. 4, U.S. Senate does not ratify Convention on Persons with Disabilities today.*  Majority of Repubican Senators voted against the treaty.  Source: Bruce Darling www.adapt.org

Update: Dec.4: Dennis Bernstine's "Flashpoint" transcript of his Radio interview with Prof.  Francis Boyle is on http://www.counterpunch.com/

Update: Dec.3 is International Day of Persons With Disabilities.
Related news:* The UN Treaty, UN Convention on Persons With Disabilities has been ratified by 120 countries, but not the U.S. Senate-yet. See the Blog  on www.mediamatters.org -the entry for Sept. 19, 2012.

Vote by US Senate on the UN treaty for rights for persons with disabilities will take place on Dec.4,2012, at Noon, eastern time.  See the Blog on www.notdeadyet.org for Diane Coleman's top of the page article on why she supports the treaty. 

Note: there are 56.7 million people with disabilities in the U.S.

This is sad news about Stevie Wonder.  There is irony,too.  I remembered when he was appointed, and I just checked it via google and a YouTube video:  Stevie Wonder was appointed a UN Messenger of Peace on Dec.3, 2009 as "champion for disabled people".  (I am disabled.)  Further irony,too in that Stevie Wonder performed at the UN Day concert on Oct. 24, 2012 in the General Assembly Hall, UN, NYC. 

(And I'm going to ignore any comments that would fit under the category of a circle jerk -slang;google def.)

Swap Meet

Submitted by Enlightened Cynic on Wed, 11/28/2012 - 16:57.

As Prof. West said on Amy Goodman's show he appeared on with Tavis Smiley, "Everything is for sale."

Stevie is Exhibit A why Black folk, especially educated Black folk who know better, need to tell the rich, ignorant Black gatekeepers, our media icons and whores, to go to hell.

When we strart listening to the "rich and famous," the Black Minstrels, like Stevie Wonder, Steve Harvey, Jay-Z, the Wendy Williams and other prostitutes try to impart wisdom, logic and advice to us as a people, we are admitting that we are dumber than a doornail.

Part of our avowed, shameless, petulant ignorance and stupidity lies in that adominable phrase and antidote to all things intellectual or reflective:  "hater."  I despise that word and all who cavalierly toss it about.  Its the vocabulary for small-minded simpletons and petulant ignoramuses.  It's the antidote to all things intellectual or reflective.  It's the phrase of cowards, non-thinkers, and conformists.

We as Black folks have become such consumption whores and worshippers of all things material (despite our steadfast Church attendance and fake Christianity) that we accept that any asshole who has ostentacious or outward signs of "wealth" or "status" knows wtf they are doing or talking about.  When in fact, most are just being pimped in some way shape or form by White boys and girls.

Why should I listen to John Legend talk about public vs. charter schools and not Dr. (you fill in the blank) Professor Emeritus of Education at an HBCU?  Why am I talking my political cues from a college drop-out like Steve Harvey who can't even spell sequestration let alone define it?  I love D. L. Hughley, but what can he tell me about the Arab-Israeli conflict I can't learn my damn self?

Look at how backwards in time we've gone?!!  Use to piss us off that entertainers were our spokespersons, now we cling to their every word.

Black folks have turned their entire lives and existence into one big ass Swap Meet.  If you don't stand for something, you fall for anything.  But hey, yall don't "hate" on Stevie, he just trying to get paid."  Pathetic.

"according to a source" who has read Stevie's emails?

Submitted by Cynical Negro on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 00:36.

"Stevie Wonder Pulls Out of IDF Fundraiser"

Petition Called on R&B Star To Shun Israel Army Event

Published Wednesday, November 28, 2012

http://www.forward.com/articles/166877/stevie-wonder-pulls-out-of-idf-fu...

Highlights:

Stevie Wonder is set to pull out of a performance at a fundraiser for the Israel Defense Forces, a source told JTA.

Wonder’s representatives will claim that he did not know the nature of the group, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, and that he believes such a performance would be incongruent with his status as a U.N. “Messenger of Peace,” according to a source who has read email exchanges between Wonder’s representatives and organizers of the event.

Wonder had come under intense social media pressure to pull out of the event. An online petition calling on him to cancel his performance had garnered more than 3,600 signatures.

The petition was launched more than a day ago on the change.org website.

“You were arrested in 1985 protesting South African Apartheid, now we ask you: please remember that apartheid is apartheid, whether it comes from White Afrikaaner settlers of South Africa or from Jewish Israelis in Israel,” the petition reads. “Desmond Tutu has recognized that Israel’s Apartheid is worse than South Africa’s – will you stand with us against apartheid and cancel your performance at the IDF fundraiser.”

A second petition, launched by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, calls on Wonder to “(p)lease 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.”

Wonder performed at a 1998 gala honoring Israel’s 50th anniversary.

CHARITY CASE?

Submitted by PEASEHEAD on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 07:55.

I wasn't aware that the IDF was short of funds. After all, it's been receiving billions of dollars from United States taxpayers for years and years. I guess that its been awhile since the real price of occupation and oppression has been adjusted for inflation. A more pressing issue for us is the fact that so many Black christians like Stevie Wonder cannot think outside of the Zionist box when it comes to dealing with justice or with human rights in Palestine. If Black christians placed the interests and the well-being of themselves, or of Black people in general, or of Black Africans first, Israel's long standing support for the racist Afrikaaner regime in apartheid South Africa would have killed Black America's one-sided love affair the state of  Israel decades ago.

Black Christians act like thumb-sucking infants

Submitted by Enlightened Cynic on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 09:43.

"I wasn't aware the IDF was short of funds."  I love it.  The IDF is likely sitting on billions in off-shore accounts, this "concert" is simply a propaganda campaign.  I've long maintained that Bernie Madoff and Jewish financiers have funneled billions in stolen Wall St. loot to Israel.  And conversely, the only reason Bernie became the poster child for Wall St. fraud was because he defrauded Jewish investors who were powerful and influential.  Name one bankster fraudster has been prosecuted besides him.  Wonder why?

Peasehead, how dare you engage in critical thinking and common sense.  Trust me, Stevie "wasn't aware of it either."    Let's not get what I'm about to say twisted, I just call it like I see it.  Stevie has been in the entertainment business since he was a child, and don't tell me visual sight or not he hasn't grasped the fact that a large segment of those at the top of the entertainment food chain are Jewish and extremely wealthy.  He certainly knows about a man in L.A. named Adelson, who shelved millions into Mitten's campaign, Adelson could write the IDF a check. 

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-26/las-vegas-sands-adelson-to-earn-1-dot-2-billion-from-dividend 

I don't want to hear Stevie's excuses, a mea culpa will do.  He is simply kissing backside and trying to get paid in the process. 

The irony is that the IDF's social media person has been photographed in "Black Face."  Apparently Israelis have a thing for Black Minstrel shows.  Perhaps that's why they contacted Stevie?

http://resistance-episteme.tumblr.com/post/36272969907/meet-the-head-of-the-idfs-social-media-unit shows.

To add insult to injury:

In June of this year, Israel began a massive deportation of African migrants who said they were treated “like animals” during the process. 

http://leftwing-christian.net/2012/11/27/an-appeal-to-stevie-wonder-dont-support-apartheid.aspx 

Is Stevie another Black Christian Zionist who cannot think outside the box or a butt kisser trying to get paid, or both?  I don't have too many positive things to say about the majority of Black Christians, robotic, mindless zombies, most of them. Love manna more than Christ.  Not one ounce of critical thinking skills as evidenced by falling for the bait that Caucasion European converts to Judaism are the "Chosen People."  Aint nobody else in the Middle East using coppertone on the beach.  Turning a blind eye to the apartheid and general thuggishness of Israel, a nation chomping at the bit to committ genocide against the Palestinians.  And refusing to advance visual depictions of Jesus that don't look like Mel Gibson or Charleton Heston.  Pathetic lot, all of them.

IDF Certainly Doesn't Need Charity from Stevie Wonder

Submitted by Nixakliel on Mon, 12/03/2012 - 01:17.

Israel gets $3Billion$ every yr card-blanch as foreign 'aid' from the US Gov't- most of it's geared toward the IDF. This is on average more US foreign aid than for any other nation & more than for all of Africa combined! 

IMO this was a PR stunt by agents for the Likudnik / AIPACers &/or the Obama-nite / Sue Ricers to get Blacks & progressives more on board w Obama's & Rice's unwaivering support of Bibi's / Lieberman / Likud / AIPAC policies. Thank God someone pulled Stevie's coat & got him to back-out. 

If Stevie Wonder wants to do charity fund raising for folks in the 'Holy-Land', there are plenty of worthy causes, without risking a visit from Homeland security for allegedly backing KHamas / Gaza. There are many Ethipoians in Israel that effectively live as 2nd class citizens &/or 50,000+ African immigrants in Israel [vs 1.5 - 2 million Russian immigrants since the mid 1990s- half of which don't even pretend to be Jewish] that have faced a racist backlash from the Likudnik Gov't hyping up the Israeli public into a racist [yet phony] {feeding}fenzy! And not so Little Stevie should know that the minister of interior for the Likudnik Gov't recently declared: Israel is for the white man [ironically this guy's parents originally came from TUNISIA].

Not only their support of

Submitted by jbrown12 on Mon, 12/03/2012 - 00:17.

Not only their support of apartheid era South Africa, but also the long held 'rumor' (don't know if it's been substantiated or not) that Israel sold either nuclear know-how or weapons to apartheid era South Africa...once I heard this, I was through with them.

BAKE SALES AND HAND-ME-DOWNS

Submitted by PEASEHEAD on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 17:16.

If, in fact the IDF is broke, since we are all living in the post-racial age of color-blind equality, the IDF should be expected to cope with its financial difficulties in the exactly the same manner as Black people are in similar circumstances. Let the IDF throw a few bake sales and telethons, and let the warriors  gather as many castoffs and hand-me-downs from its benefactors as they can. You can be certain that, during the process, the heroic warriors of the IDF will not be bombarded with inane admonishments from their "friends" to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps," because, unlike Blacks, neither Israel, nor the IDF have ever been expected to "stand on their own two feet". 

Why should the IDF and Israel have bake sales and carwashs?

Submitted by Enlightened Cynic on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 19:06.

When they have your and my tax dollars to depend on.  Look like they getting ready for Armageddon at US taxpayer expense.

I guess all who make it to the "911 Site" bunker will be among the "Chosen People."   I guess the rest of us can suck polonium and die. 

Looks like the Corp of Engineers done completed more construction in Israel than they have on the levees in NOLA.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-to-build-mysterious-site-911-in-israel-8367574.html 

The US Army Corps of Engineers plans to supervise construction of a five-story underground facility for an Israel Defense Forces complex, oddly named "Site 911," at an Israeli Air Force base near Tel Aviv.

Expected to take more than two years to build, at a cost of up to $100 million, the facility is to have classrooms on Level 1, an auditorium on Level 3, a laboratory, shock-resistant doors, protection from nonionizing radiation and very tight security. Clearances will be required for all construction workers, guards will be at the fence and barriers will separate it from the rest of the base.

Only U.S. construction firms are being allowed to bid on the contract, and proposals are due Dec. 3, according to the latest Corps of Engineers notice. 

Nigga Fifth Amendment NOT!!!

Submitted by S Murph on Fri, 11/30/2012 - 15:41.

I have to confess that I am a Stevie Wonder fan.  But for the life of me I can’t figure out this stuck on Stupid move by him.  He can’t pull the nigga fifth amendment (I didn’t know) on this one.  With all the media portals IE face book twitter and a host of web sites that he probably accesses on a daily basis, he can’t say he did not know.  That excuse is just not working in the 21st century.  There are way too many news, information, and social network portals that we come into contact with in the course of a day much less a week or month for that to happen.  You got to be living in a cave under a pile of rocks and brain damaged not to know.  Stevie lives in LA a 365/24/7 media circus how the hell does he not know?  He is in constant contact with a whole range of folks that do know so the nigga fifth amendment line will work here.

Sometimes I think we lose ourselves in this sea of BS that we are swimming in and do something real dumb and have to get bitch slapped before we come to ourselves and get a grip on ourselves.  Stevie consider yourself slapped!!!

Not misinformed at all product of the banlity of evil

Submitted by Enlightened Cynic on Sun, 12/02/2012 - 14:37.

A diet of mainstream media pablum aside, Stevie has been aware of the Palestinian issue for over 30 years and logic say, if the conflict hasn't been resolved yet, and even if you can't watch video of the actual apartheid practices or even if your visit to the "Holy Land" is scripted, something aint' right.  And you know the fight has been a mismatch for 30 years.  Think about it, for more than 30 years Israeli's have whined like babies about "they" won't to destroy us when in reality the Israeli's brute force and policies have destroyed any 2 state solution, AND "they" refuse to integrate Palestinians into their society.  Shitty news sources doesn't relieve you of your common sense and critical thinking. 

How could he even consider raising funds for a military functionary after the same functionary just attacked unarmed people in Gaza, how can he not understand the Israelis kill disproportionately and have been shooting fish in a barrel for 30 years? 

Look I get some cynicism and I get some capitalism, but a concert to raise money for the IDF?  Come on now, Stevie might as well have raised money for F.W. de Clerk.

He aint that misinformed, he's just unprincipled and morally corrupt and adrift like the majority of Americans.  Raising funds for the IDF is pure chutzpah.  I wasn't aware he recently converted to Christianity, that might explain some things, some absence of critical thinking, but even then, come on.  Stevie might as well be raising money for the US military against the Apace and Sioux Reservations. 

"Ambassador for Peace?"  Stevie's about as bad as Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize.  "I'm too high, too high...""

WHO DEFINES REALITY

Submitted by PEASEHEAD on Sun, 12/02/2012 - 18:26.

In this country we are fed a steady diet of propaganda about the saga of a heroic White Western population trapped, surrounded, and hopelessly outnumbered by enemies motivated only by their unreasoning hatred of Jews and of the West. Somehow, the fact that, in spite of all of the alleged unrelenting aggression from its neighbors, only the "peace-loving" state of Israel continues to expand its territory every year passes entirely unnoticed and un reported upon by most of the so-called mainstream media.

Stevie cancels IDF appearance

Submitted by rebelgirl17 on Sat, 12/08/2012 - 14:57.

Keeping current: Stevie Wonder did cancel his appearance for the IDF concert. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/12/04/stevie-wonder-cancels-performa...

Of course, there's no excuse for agreeing in the first place-- but he did listen to(concede to?) popular pressure when it was applied.

rebelgirl17:thanks for the update

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Mon, 12/10/2012 - 11:19.

Thanks.

Israel and Apartheid

Submitted by AlyssaF on Tue, 04/23/2013 - 02:27.

Israel - the only democracy in the middle east - does not practice apartheid. anyone who believes that is misinformed and needs to do their research:

(1) Arabs within the state of Israel have full equal rights. There are no separate facilities for Arabs as there were for blacks in South Africa. Arabs do not have to carry a passbook. They can speak their mind as much as they want. They can work wherever they feel like it. they can also vote in Israeli elections and hold public office - in fact, there are several members of the Israeli Knesset (their parliament/congress) who are Arab (currently 12, including several Druze).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Arab_members_of_the_Knesset#Current...

(2) Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank are NOT Israeli citizens and therefore do not have the RIGHTS of Israeli citizens. Many work in Israel because there are more and better jobs there (much like Mexicans who come to work in the US but are still residents of Mexico). Gaza and the West Bank have their own government (blacks and coloreds in South Africa did NOT have their own legitimate government): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governance_of_the_Gaza_Strip       

  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governorates_of_the_Palestinian_National_A...

(3) The security wall in Israel was built to stop terrorism. So far, it has been very successful. The city of Hadera, where I recently visited and stayed, has not had a terrorist attack since its completion. Before then, they were frequent victims of terror. Once, in a town near the West Bank, a terrorist from the WB walked into Israel, shot an Israeli family, then walked back into the West Bank. Currently, in an Arizona town on the border with Mexico, there is a security wall to keep out illegal immigrants. I have been there and seen it. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/fence.html

For more information about the Israel-apartheid comparison, click this link: http://www.factsandlogic.org/ad_121.html I also recommend VISITING Israel and seeing things for yourself.

Beta Israel - Ethiopian Jews in Israel

Submitted by AlyssaF on Tue, 04/23/2013 - 02:38.

As far as Ethiopians in Israel are concerned, Miss Israel 2013 is Ethiopian:  http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/03/21/first-black-miss-israel-invited-to-d...

 

Israeli Arab on Israeli version of "Master Chef"

Submitted by AlyssaF on Tue, 04/23/2013 - 02:41.

An Israeli Arab woman recently won second place on Israel's version of "Master Chef." This would not have been possible if Israel practiced apartheid:

http://unitedwithisrael.org/israeli-master-chef-tv-show-highlights-israe...

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