Dozens of celebrities from the entertainment industry have signed a letter urging President Biden to seek an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire as the conflict between Israel and Hamas enters its third week.

The letter, created by a group of Hollywood insiders calling themselves Artists4Ceasefire, is currently signed by celebrities such as Cate Blanchett, America Ferrera, Bassem Youssef, Jon Stewart, Dua Lipa, Hasan Minhaj, Oscar Isaac, and Michael Stipe.

"We call on your administration and all world leaders to honour all lives on Holy Land and to call for an immediate ceasefire and facilitate its cessation - an end to the bombing of Gaza and the safe release of hostages," the letter states. It goes on to say, "Half of Gaza's two million residents are children, and over two-thirds are refugees and their descendants forced from their homes. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach them."

Some of the signatories, like Ferrera, have also expressed their views on the conflict on other platforms. Speaking at the Glamour magazine "Woman of the Year" awards a few days ago, the actress from "Barbie and the Dragon" called for an end to the conflict and for women and children to "live in peace."

"All our sisters are not safe," Ferrera said. "Like all of you, my heart is broken and heavy with the weight of what our sisters around the world endure every day. As we sit here tonight celebrating, our sisters and their families in Gaza and Israel are going through horror. The cruelty of terror and war unfolds before our eyes. Entire families have been and continue to be erased."

The Artists4Ceasefire letter is not the only such act of celebrity political advocacy to emerge in the past couple of weeks.

Hundreds of celebrities, including actors Gal Gadot, Michael Douglas, and Jerry Seinfeld, signed an open letter in support of Israel, published on October 12th. This effort is organized by the "Creative Community for Peace," which describes itself as a "non-profit entertainment industry organization." The organization states its mission as "promoting art as a bridge to peace, informing about the growing anti-Semitism in the entertainment industry, and mobilizing support against the cultural boycott of Israel."

The Biden administration has not made any public statements in response to this or any other letter expressing celebrities' views on the conflict. In recent statements, Biden affirmed "unwavering support for Israel by Israel" and supported Israel's response to Hamas attacks on October 7th. The White House has not specifically called for a ceasefire but has urged minimizing civilian casualties. Additionally, on October 18th, Biden announced that the United States is providing $100 million in humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.

This is not the first time celebrities have voiced their opinions on the deteriorating situation in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

For example, Gadot posted comments on her Instagram account after an escalation of violence in the region in May 2021. "This is a vicious cycle that has been going on for far too long," Gadot wrote. "Israel deserves to live as a free and safe nation. Our neighbors deserve the same." Meanwhile, at that time, Susan Sarandon expressed support for Palestinians. In one of her Twitter posts, the actor and activist published a statement describing Israel's actions as "settler colonialism, military occupation, land theft, and ethnic cleansing."

Public opinion on whether artists should express their political views has been divided. A survey by the research company Morning Consult showed that 28% of adults want celebrities to speak out on political issues, while 29% believe that celebrities should stay away from politics.

The war between Israel and the Gaza Strip, which began on October 7th with a devastating attack by Hamas on Israel, has so far resulted in the deaths of over 1,400 Israelis and over 4,000 Palestinians.

Here is the letter from Artists4Ceasefire and the current list of signatories:

Dear President Biden,

We have come together as artists and advocates but, more importantly, as people watching in horror as the human toll of the escalating violence in Israel and Palestine continues to mount.

We urge you, as the President of the United States, to call for an immediate ceasefire and cessation of violence in Gaza and Israel before another life is lost. Over the past week and a half, over 5,000 lives have been lost—a number any empathetic person knows is catastrophic. We believe in the sacredness of all human life, regardless of faith or ethnicity, and condemn the killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians.

We call on your administration and all world leaders to honor all lives on the Holy Land and to call for an immediate ceasefire and facilitate its cessation—an end to the bombing of Gaza and the safe release of hostages. Half of Gaza’s two million residents are children, and over two-thirds are refugees and their descendants forced from their homes. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach them.

We believe the United States can play a critical diplomatic role in ending the suffering, and we add our voices to those of the U.S. Congress, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, the International Red Cross, and many others. Saving lives is a moral duty. To quote UNICEF: “Compassion and international law must prevail.”

As of the writing of this article, Gaza has seen over 6,000 bombs dropped on it in the past 12 days, resulting in the loss of one child's life every 15 minutes.

"Families in Gaza are left with barely enough food, water, electricity, medicine, and safe access to hospitals after days of airstrikes and disruption of all supply routes. On Gaza’s only power plant, fuel ran out on Wednesday, resulting in electricity cuts, water supply and sewage treatment disruptions. Most people can no longer receive drinking water from utility providers or piped water for domestic use... The humanitarian situation has reached a deadly breaking point, and yet all reports indicate further attacks. Compassion—and international law—must prevail." – UNICEF Representative James Elder

In addition to our grief and sorrow for all people and their loved ones around the world, we are driven by an unwavering resolve to stand up for our shared humanity. We advocate for freedom, justice, dignity, and peace for all people—and for a deep desire to halt further bloodshed.

We refuse to tell future generations the story of our silence, of us standing by and doing nothing. As stated in an interview with the United Nations News Agency, Martin Griffiths, Head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said, "History is watching."

Aliya Shaukat

Alyssa Milano

Amanda Sils

Amber Tamblyn

America Ferrera

Andrew Garfield

Ani DiFranco

Anoushka Shankar

Aria Mia Loberti

Ayo Edebiri

Basam Tarik

Bassem Youssef

Beastie Boys

Bonnie Wright

Caroline Polachek

Cate Blanchett

Channing Tatum

Cherien Dabis

Darius Marder

David Cross

David Oyelowo

Dev Hynes

Diplo

Dominique Fishback

Dominique Thorne

Dua Lipa

Elvira Lind

Elianna

Farah Bseiso

Fatima Farhin Mirza

Florence Pugh

Hasan Minhaj

Hend Sabry

Ilana Glazer

India Moore

James Schamus

Jeremy Strong

Jessica Chastain

Jesse Buckley

Joaquin Phoenix

Jon Stewart

Let's Eat Grandma

Kristen Stewart

Macklemore

Mahershala Ali

Margaret Cho

Mark Ruffalo

Mazie Hirono

Michael Malarkey

Michael Moore

Michael Shannon

Michael Stipe

Michelle Wolff

Miguel

Moses Sumney

Natalie Merchant

Oscar Isaac

Quinta Brunson

Rachel Sennott

Ramy Youssef

Raven Aurora

Riz Ahmed

Rooney Mara

Rosalía

Rowan Blanchard

Ryan Coogler

Sandra Oh

Sebastián Silva

Shailene Woodley

Shaka King

Simi Haze

Stephanie Suganami

Susan Sarandon

Taylor Page

Tommy Genesis

Vic Mensa

Victoria Monét

Wallis Shawn

Wanda Sykes

Yara Shahidi