America Ferrera poses for photographers as she arrives at the Glamor Women of the Year Awards in London on Tuesday. The actress is one of dozens of famous entertainers who signed a letter to President Biden calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.
Dozens of top entertainment industry officials have signed a letter calling on President Biden to push for immediate de-escalation and a ceasefire as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues into its third week.
The letter was created by a group of Hollywood insiders called Artists4Ceasefire. Signatories of the letter so far include celebrities such as Cate Blanchett, America Ferrera, Bassem Youssef, Jon Stewart, Dua Lipa, Hasan Minhaj, Oscar Isaac and Michael Stipe.
“We call on your government and all world leaders to honor all lives in the Holy Land and to immediately demand and facilitate a ceasefire – an end to the bombardment of Gaza and the safe release of the hostages,” it said letter. It continues: “Half of Gaza’s two million residents are children, and more than two-thirds are refugees and their descendants who are forced to leave their homes. Humanitarian aid must reach them.”
Some signatories, such as Ferrera, have also expressed their views on the conflict in other forums. Speaking of Glamor at the Global Honorees’ Women of the Year Awards a few days ago, she said: Barbie And How to train your dragon made easy The actor called for an end to the conflict and said women and children should “live in peace.”
“All of our sisters are not safe,” Ferrera said. “Like all of you, my heart is broken and heavy with the burden of what our sisters around the world endure every day. And as we sit here tonight and celebrate, our sisters and their families in Gaza and Israel are experiencing the horror. The brutality.” Terror and war are unfolding before our eyes. Entire families have been and are being wiped out.”
The Artists4Ceasefire letter is not the only political act of its kind to surface in recent weeks.
Hundreds of celebrities, including actors Gal Gadot, Michael Douglas and Jerry Seinfeld, signed an open letter in support of Israel on October 12. This initiative was organized by the Creative Community for Peace, which describes itself as a “non-profit entertainment industry organization,” stating that its mission is “to promote the arts as a bridge to peace, educate about the increasing anti-Semitism in the entertainment industry, and provide support to mobilize against the cultural boycott of Israel.”
The Biden administration has not yet made any public statements in response to this or any other letter outlining celebrities’ views on the conflict. Biden has reiterated the U.S.’s “unwavering support for Israel” in recent statements and supported Israel’s retaliation for the October 7 Hamas attacks. The White House has not specifically called for a ceasefire, but has called for minimizing civilian casualties. Additionally, on October 18, Biden announced that the United States would provide $100 million in humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.
This is not the first time that celebrities have voiced their opinions on the deteriorating state of Israeli-Palestinian relations.
For example, after an escalation of violence in the region in May 2021, Gadot posted comments on her Instagram account. “This is a vicious cycle that has gone on for far too long,” Gadot wrote. “Israel deserves to live as a free and secure nation. Our neighbors deserve the same.” Meanwhile, Susan Sarandon expressed her support for the Palestinians at the time. The actor and activist made the comments in a Twitter post a statement forwarded He described Israel’s actions as “settler colonialism, military occupation, land theft and ethnic cleansing.”
The public is divided on whether entertainers should express their political views. A survey by polling firm Morning Consult found that 28% of adults want celebrities to speak out on political issues, while 29% believe celebrities should stay out of politics.
The Israel-Gaza war, which began with a devastating Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, has so far resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 Israelis and more than 4,000 Palestinians.
Here is the full letter from Artists4Ceasefire and the current list of signatories:
Dear President Biden,
We come together as artists and advocates, but most importantly as people who are witnessing the devastating loss of life and unfolding horrors in Israel and Palestine.
We ask you, as President of the United States, to call for immediate de-escalation and a 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 that every person in conscience knows is catastrophic. We believe that all life is sacred, regardless of faith or ethnicity, and we condemn the killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians.
We call on your government and all world leaders to honor all lives in the Holy Land and to immediately demand and facilitate a ceasefire – an end to the bombing of Gaza and the safe release of the hostages. Half of Gaza’s two million residents are children, and more than two-thirds are refugees and their descendants forced to leave their homes. Humanitarian aid must be made possible for them.
We believe the United States can play an important diplomatic role in ending the suffering, and we join the voices of the U.S. Congress, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and many others. Saving lives is a moral imperative. To echo UNICEF: “Compassion – and international law – must prevail.”
As of this writing, more than 6,000 bombs have been dropped on Gaza in the last 12 days, killing one child every 15 minutes.
“After days of air strikes and disruptions to all supply routes, children and families in Gaza are virtually deprived of food, water, electricity, medicine and safe access to hospitals. Gaza’s only power plant ran out of fuel on Wednesday afternoon and shut down electricity, water and wastewater treatment. Most residents can no longer obtain drinking water from service providers or household water through pipes… The humanitarian situation has reached a deadly low, and yet all reports point to further attacks. Compassion – and international law – must prevail.” – UNICEF spokesman James Elder
Beyond our pain and sadness for everyone there and their loved ones around the world, we are motivated by an indomitable will to stand up for our common humanity. We stand for freedom, justice, dignity and peace for all people – and the deep desire to stop more bloodshed.
We refuse to tell future generations the story of our silence, of standing by and doing nothing. Emergency relief chief Martin Griffiths told UN News: “History is watching.”
Aria Mia Loberti
Fatima Farheen Mirza
Source : www.npr.org