‘History is watching:’ Hollywood stars urge Biden to press for Israel, Gaza ceasefire

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) – Dozens of Hollywood actors and artists, including comedian Jon Stewart and Oscar-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix, wrote on Friday to U.S. President Joe Biden, urging him to press for a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza.

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,400 people and taking about 200 hostages. Since then, Israel has bombed Gaza and killed over 4,100 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

“We urge your administration, 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,” the celebrities wrote to Biden.

“We refuse to tell future generations the story of our silence, that we stood by and did nothing. As (UN) Emergency Relief Chief Martin Griffiths told UN News, “History is watching””, they said in the letter, citing Griffiths’ comment on Monday.

The nearly 60 signatories included Susan Sarandon, Kristen Stewart, Quinta Brunson, Ramy Youssef, Riz Ahmed and Mahershala Ali, among others.

“Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach them (Gazans),” the letter said.

Biden on Friday said he believed that trucks carrying aid will get through to Gaza in the next 24 to 48 hours. Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, a 45-km-long (25-mile) enclave, has created dire conditions for the 2.3 million people living there under a blockade by Israel and Egypt since Hamas took control in 2007.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Rod Nickel)