Tilda Swinton, Steve Coogan and Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja are some of the 2,000 people from across the arts and entertainment world who have signed an open letter calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Miriam Margoyles, Maxine Peake, Frankie Boyle and Charles Dance are also among the signatories of the letter, which condemns various governments for “not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them” amid the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, as well as “every act of violence against civilians and every infringement of international law whoever perpetrates them”.
Citing Israeli Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant’s depiction of Palestinians as “human animals”, the letter goes on to argue that Palestinians “have become people to whom almost anything can be done”.
“We are witnessing a crime and a catastrophe. Israel has reduced much of Gaza to rubble, and cut off the supply of water, power, food and medicine to 2.3million Palestinians. In the words of the UN’s undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, ‘the spectre of death’ is hanging over the territory,” it reads.
“Gaza is already a society of refugees and the children of refugees. Now, in their hundreds of thousands, bombarded from air, sea and land, Palestinians whose grandparents were forced out of their homes at the barrel of a gun are again being told to flee – or face collective punishment on an unimaginable scale. Dispossessed of rights, described by Israel’s minister of defence as “human animals”, they have become people to whom almost anything can be done.
“Our governments are not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them. There will come a time when they are held to account for their complicity. But for now, while condemning every act of violence against civilians and every infringement of international law whoever perpetrates them, our obligation is to do all we can to bring an end to the unprecedented cruelty being inflicted on Gaza.
“We support the global movement against the destruction of Gaza and the mass displacement of the Palestinian people. We demand that our governments end their military and political support for Israel’s actions.
“We call for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of Gaza’s crossings to allow humanitarian aid to enter unhindered.”
You can find the full list of signatories here.
Hamas’ terror attacks on October 7, which included massacres at the Be’eri kibbutz and Kfar Aza kibbutz in Israel, was met with a deadly retaliatory response by Israel’s national military, the IDF, largely with missile attacks.
A reported 260 attendees at Supernova Sukkot Gathering, a music festival that was held a few miles from Gaza in Israel, were killed in an early morning attack by Hamas militants. The organisers of the festival have since released their first statement over the “unspeakable tragedy”.
In the wake of Hamas’ assault, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a “complete siege” of the Gaza Strip where 2.2million people live, cutting off water, food and electricity to the Palestinian territory from which Hamas’ invasion was launched.
According to the Palestinian health ministry, 3,000 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since October 7 with a further 12,500 injured. Israel authorities confirmed that 1,400 people were killed in attacks perpetrated by Hamas earlier in October.
The conflict has prompted a wide array of public figures to speak out. Tom Morello called for the condemnation of harm to all children “no matter who they are”.
Gigi Hadid, who is of Palestinian descent, shared a graphic to her Instagram Story last week, which read: “There is nothing Jewish about the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians. Condemning the Israeli government is not antisemitic and supporting Palestinians is not supporting Hamas.”
Riz Ahmed, meanwhile, wrote a lengthy post condemning the “horrific and wrong” conflict “We are told that there are two sides to what is happening in Israel and Palestine. But in my heart, I know there is only one – the side of our humanity.”