Dua Lipa, Devonté Hynes, and Caroline Polachek are among the 120 prominent figures in entertainment who’ve signed an open letter urging President Biden to de-escalate the ongoing violence on the Gaza Strip.
“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, which is supported by Oxfam America, reads. “We ask that, as President of the United States, you and the US Congress call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel before another life is lost.”
Israel’s current bombardment and siege in Gaza has killed at least 5,791 people in the past 19 days, according to the Palestinian Ministry Of Health. It began after Hamas militants killed more than 1,400 Israelis — including roughly 260 music festival attendees — in a surprise attack on October 7, and took roughly 220 more hostage. Four hostages have since been released. The open letter also calls on Biden to demand Hamas safely release their remaining hostages (something he’s already done repeatedly).
Beyond Lipa, Hynes, and Polachek, other musical artists to sign the letter include Aminé, ASAP Nast, Boots Riley, Diplo, El-P, Kaytranada, Killer Mike, Tommy Genesis, and Vic Mensa. The vast majority of its signees are actors.
Read the full letter below.
Dear President Biden,
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.
We ask that, as President of the United States, you and the US Congress 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.
We urge your administration, Congress, and all world leaders, to honor all of the lives in the Holy Land and call for and facilitate a ceasefire without delay – an end to the bombing of Gaza, and the safe release of hostages. Half of Gaza’s two million residents are children, and more than two thirds are refugees and their descendants being forced to flee their homes. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach them.
We believe that the United States can play a vital diplomatic role in ending the suffering and we are adding our voices to those from the 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.”
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.
We refuse to tell future generations the story of our silence, that we stood by and did nothing. As Emergency Relief Chief Martin Griffiths told UN News, “History is watching.”