Over 400 members of President Joe Biden's staff have signed an open letter demanding that he call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas forces in Gaza.
The signatories, of various ethnic and religious backgrounds, work in more than 30 departments and agencies under the Biden Administration. They shared that they remained anonymous out of "concern for our personal safety and risk of potentially losing our jobs.”
“We represent a coalition of Biden-Harris Administration political appointees and civil servants, positioned across the domestic and foreign policy spheres, working in federal agencies, departments, independent agencies, and the White House,” the letter reads, according to multiple outlets.
“We call on President Biden to urgently demand a ceasefire; and to call for de-escalation of the current conflict by securing the immediate release of the Israeli hostages and arbitrarily detained Palestinians; the restoration of water, fuel, electricity and other basic services; and the passage of adequate humanitarian aid to the Gaza strip," it continued.
Israel escalates amid calls for ceasefire
The letter cited a Data for Progress poll from October which shows “the overwhelming majority of Americans support a ceasefire,” including 66 percent of Americans overall and 80 percent of Democrats. Despite this, the White House has not yet used the term, instead calling for "humanitarian pauses."
Another tracking poll from Gallup found an 11 percent dip in Biden's approval among Democrats in the past month, primarily attributed to his unconditional support of Israel. The United States gives Israel $3.8 billion annually in military aid.
While global calls for a ceasefire have largely focused on ensuring humanitarian aid reaches civilians in Gaza, the letter notes that "Americans do not want the U.S. military to be drawn into another costly and senseless war in the Middle East.”
Over 11,000 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7, more than 4,500 being children, though the death toll has not been updated since Friday due to communications blackouts imposed by Israel. Israel has cut off Gaza's access to food, water, fuel, electricity, and telecommunicationsagainst international law.
Israel has also refused to let in emergency fuel, making hospitals unable to care for the over 1,000 patients receiving kidney dialysis treatment in Gaza, as well as 130 premature babies in incubators, several of whom have already died not from their condition, but from lack of proper resources.
The letter marks the latest instance those under Biden have pushed back against his decisions. Last week, over 100 congressional staffers walked off the job on Capital Hill in an effort to urge the lawmakers they work for to support a ceasefire in Gaza.
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