Top Hollywood stars urge Biden to appeal for Gaza-Israel ceasefire
An accumulation of 55 well-known artistes and advocates from the entertainment industry have joined together to pen an open letter addressed to President Joe Biden, appealing for him to request a ceasefire in the crisis between Gaza and Israel.
Amongst the signatories are notable figures like Joaquin Phoenix, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Jon Stewart, Kristen Stewart, Susan Sarandon, Mahershala Ali, Riz Ahmed, Ramy Youssef, and Quinta Brunson.
The letter conveys the following message: "We implore your administration, as well as leaders across the globe, to value every life in the Holy Land and promptly initiate and support a ceasefire – putting an end to the airstrikes in Gaza and ensuring the safe release of hostages."
The statement, which was disseminated by Artists 4 Ceasefire, features a statement from UNICEF spokesperson James Elder, highlighting the extensive harm caused to the people of Gaza due to the continuous Israeli airstrikes and the restrictions on access to water and electricity.
James Elder's statement emphasises the dire conditions faced by children and families in Gaza: "The people of Gaza, especially children and families, are in an exceedingly critical situation with severe shortages of essential resources such as food, water, electricity, medications, and safe access to medical facilities. These shortages have occurred in the aftermath of several days of airstrikes and disruptions to supply routes. Gaza's only power plant ceased operations on Wednesday, leading to electricity, water, and wastewater treatment shutdowns. It is crucial that compassion and adherence to international law guide our actions."
Recently, another letter, advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza and the facilitation of humanitarian aid, gained support from several prominent figures. This statement, issued by Artistes for Palestine UK, gathered signatures from individuals like Tilda Swinton, Charles Dance, Steve Coogan, Miriam Margolyes, Michael Winterbottom, Mike Leigh, and Asif Kapadia. The letter accused the British government of not only tolerating but also actively supporting war crimes in the region.
On October 7, the Palestinian militant group Hamas carried out a significant attack on Israel, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,400 individuals and the taking of over 200 hostages. In response to this, the Israeli government initiated what Israel's Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, described as a "complete siege" on Gaza. According to the Ministry of Health of Palestine, this ongoing crisis has led to the deaths of more than 4,651 Palestinians.
During a recent trip to Israel, President Biden expressed the United States' unwavering support for the country. He declared his intention to request an exceptional level of assistance for Israel's defense from the United States Congress. Additionally, he collaborated with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi to reach an agreement aimed at unsealing the border between Egypt and Gaza, which will permit the passage of around 20 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid supplies. This move is intended to bring relief to a population exceeding two million individuals in Gaza.