A group of more than 40 interns at the White House have signed a letter demanding President Joe Biden call for a permanent ceasefire. The interns behind the letter – White House Interns for Palestine – said Biden had to reverse course in supporting Israel.
The letter, shared with Middle East Eye, says they can “no longer remain silent on the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people.” It continued, “We urge the Biden-Harris administration to call for a permanent ceasefire now, a release of all hostages including Palestinian political prisoners, and to support a diplomatic solution that will put an end to the illegal occupation and the Israeli apartheid, in accordance with international law and for a free Palestine.”
After the Hamas attack on October 7, Israel has been conducting a brutal military campaign in Gaza, killing over 15,000 people, including 6,000 children. Some of the most devastating attacks on civilians have been committed with American-made bombs.
White House officials have asked Tel Aviv to try to curb civilian casualties in some public statements. However, the administration is refusing to condition the weapons it sends to Israel on reducing civilian casualties or reaching a ceasefire. Since Tel Aviv started bombing Gaza, the US has sent arms to Israel nearly every day, including 15,000 bombs.
US officials speaking with CNN say Israel has ignored requests from the US. “Though senior Biden administration officials have publicly called on Israel to do more to minimize civilian deaths, they have been careful to avoid directly admonishing any of Israel’s tactics…officials believe it is more effective to quietly counsel Israel behind the scenes rather than loudly shame them,” the outlet reports. “The senior administration official told CNN that they did not feel comfortable using the word “receptive” to capture Israel’s response so far to the administration’s military advice – contrary to some public statements from senior-most members of the administration.”
White House Interns for Palestine are urging the administration to shift away from supporting Tel Aviv. “We urge the administration to change course. In our limited capacity, we are having these conversations and bringing the will of the American people to the halls of the highest office. We will not stop trying,” group members told Middle East Eye. “The ongoing violence perpetuated by the Israeli government, as well as the ongoing dehumanizing rhetoric targeting Muslims and Arabs, has promoted a wave of massive violence and tragedies.”