A number of prominent artists have signed an open letter to U.S. President Joe Biden, urging his administration, and world leaders, to facilitate an urgent ceasefire in Israel and Palestine.
The letter, released through Artists4Ceasefire.org, includes signatures from Jon Stewart, Joaquin Phoenix, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Oh, Ramy Youssef, Andrew Garfield, Mo Amer, Dua Lipa, America Ferrera, Channing Tatum, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Stewart, Mahershala Ali, Susan Sarandon, Yara Shahidi and more. (The list is continuously updating.)
“We come together as artists and advocates, but most importantly as human beings witnessing the devastating loss of lives and unfolding horrors in Israel and Palestine,” the letter begins.
“We ask that, as President of the United States, you call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel before another life is lost. More than 5,000 people have been killed in the last week and a half – a number any person of conscience knows is catastrophic. We believe all life is sacred, no matter faith or ethnicity and we condemn the killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians.”
The letter backs humanitarian calls for “an end to the bombing of Gaza, and the safe release of hostages.”
“We believe that the United States can play a vital diplomatic role in ending the suffering and we are adding out voices to those from US Congress, UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, The International Committee of The Red Cross, and so many others. Saving lives is a moral imperative. To echo UNICEF, ‘Compassion – and international law – must prevail.'”
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“As of this writing, more than 6,000 bombs have been dropped on Gaza in the last 12 days – resulting in one child being killed every 15 minutes. Beyond our pain and mourning for all of the people there and their loved ones around the world, we are motivated by an unbending will to stand for our common humanity. We stand for freedom, justice, dignity and peace for all people – and a deep desire to stop more bloodshed.”
The letter also includes a message from UNICEF spokesperson James Elder which reads: “Children and families in Gaza have practically run out of food, water, electricity, medicine and safe access to hospitals, following days of air strikes and cuts to all supply routes. Gaza’s sole power plant ran out of fuel Wednesday afternoon, shutting down electricity, water and wastewater treatment. Most residents can no longer get drinking water from service providers or household water through pipelines… The humanitarian situation has reached lethatl lows, and yet all reports point to further attacks. Compassion – and international law – must prevail.”
Others who have signed the letter include Alyssa Milano, Mark Ruffalo, Miguel, Quinta Brunson, Rooney Mara, Riz Ahmed, Rosario Dawson, Shailene Woodly, Oscar Isaac and Amber Tamblyn.
(Feature Image Credit: Riz Ahmed photo by DFree/Shutterstock; Cate Blanchett photo by Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock; Joaquin Phoenix photo by Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock; Channing Tatum photo by Fred Duval/Shutterstock: Yara Shahidi photo by Ovidiu Hrubaru/Shutterstock; Sandra Oh photo by Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock; Quinta Brunson photo by Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock; Andrew Garfield photo by Tinseltown/Shutterstock; Dua Lipa photo by Tinseltown/Shutterstock)