From Ben Affleck and Gigi Hadid to Padma Lakshmi and Wanda Sykes, a group of almost 250 actors, comedians, fashion models, recording artists and other individuals in the entertainment industry signed a letter to President Joe Biden urging an end to the Israel-Hamas war.
Uniting as a group called Artists4Ceasefire, “We come together as artists and advocates, but most importantly as human beings witnessing the devastating loss of lives and unfolding horror in Israel and Palestine,” the letter began.
Since Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, claiming the lives of over 1,400 Israelis, more than 8,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. On Sunday, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country was beginning a second stage in its war against Hamas and had struck more than 450 militant targets in 24 hours.
Signed by numerous Oscar- and Grammy-award winners, including Jessica Chastain, Joaquin Phoenix, Drake and Dua Lipa, the artists’ letter is urging the 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.”
They said the United States has a vital diplomatic role to play to end suffering and reiterated the UNICEF stance that compassion and international law must prevail.
“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,” UNICEF spokesperson James Elder said in a statement included in the celebrities’ letter.
“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 lethal lows, and yet all reports point to further attacks.”
Since the conflict began, 117 trucks carrying humanitarian aid have been allowed into Gaza to help more than 2 million residents, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The letter to President Biden cited the artists’ pain and mourning for all of the people in Gaza and their loved ones globally.
“We stand for freedom, justice, dignity and peace for all people — and a deep desire to stop more bloodshed,” the letter concluded. “We refuse to tell future generations the story of our silence, that we stood by and did nothing.”