A group of 55 artists and advocates from the United States entertainment industry have signed an open letter addressed to the country’s president, Joe Biden, demanding that he call for a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza.
Among the signatories are Joaquin Phoenix, Cate Blanchett, Jon Stewart, Kristen Stewart, Susan Sarandon, Mahershala Ali, Riz Ahmid, Ramy Youssef and Quinta Brunson, as reported by Variety magazine.
“We urge your Administration, and all world leaders, to honor all lives in the Holy Land and call for and facilitate a ceasefire without delay; an end to the bombing of Gaza and the release of the hostages “, reads the letter.
The statement, distributed by the Artists 4 Ceasefire organization, also includes a comment from UNICEF spokesperson James Elder, emphasizing the devastation inflicted on the people of Gaza by Israel’s bombings and blockade of water and electricity.
“Children and families in Gaza have been left practically without food, water, electricity, medicine and safe access to hospitals, after days of airstrikes and cuts to all supply routes,” said Elder, adding that ” “Gaza’s only power plant ran out of fuel on Wednesday afternoon, shutting down electricity, water and sewage treatment.”
“The majority of residents cannot receive drinking water through their utilities or through their pipes. The humanitarian situation has reached lethal levels, and yet everything points to more attacks. Compassion, and international law, must prevail,” has regretted.
Another letter demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and the opening of humanitarian aid garnered significant signatures earlier this week. The statement, from Artists for Palestine UK, was signed by figures including Tilda Swinton, Charles Dance, Steve Coogan, Miriam Margolyes, Michael Winterbottom, Mike Leigh and Asif Kapadia. This letter accused the British Government of “not only tolerating war crimes, but supporting and instigating them.”
On October 7, the Palestinian group Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel, killing more than 1,400 people and taking more than 200 hostages. The Israeli government responded by launching an “all-out siege” on Gaza, as described by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, in which more than 3,800 Palestinians have died, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
On a visit to Israel earlier this week, President Biden reaffirmed America’s loyalty to Israel and said he would “ask the United States Congress for an unprecedented support package for Israel’s defense.” He also worked with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on a deal to open the country’s sealed border with Gaza, allowing up to 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid supplies to provide relief to a population of more than two million people.