Prominent left-wing activists, including actress Cynthia Nixon, have initiated a hunger strike outside the White House, urging President Joe Biden to call for a lasting ceasefire in Gaza. The five-day fast was timed to coincide with the expected conclusion of a four-day truce in Israel’s military campaign in the Palestinian coastal region. The ceasefire was later extended by two days due to mediation efforts by Egypt and Qatar.
During a press conference held in front of the White House, speakers from various pro-Palestinian and progressive groups criticized the Biden administration for its perceived role in the conflict, which has resulted in nearly 15,000 deaths, including over 6,000 children, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
New York Democratic state representative Zohran Mamdani stated that the hunger strike was intended to highlight the plight of the Palestinians. Nixon, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, compared the Palestinian death toll to the casualties of the 20-year US military involvement in Afghanistan. She also made a personal appeal to President Biden, urging him to empathize with the children of Gaza.
The hunger strike is the latest in a series of protests against the Biden administration’s perceived support for Israel’s offensive. The protest is backed by several organizations, including the Campaign for Palestinian Rights, the Adalah Justice Project, Jewish Voice for Peace, If Not Now, Dream Defenders, Democratic Socialists of America, Institute for Middle East Understanding, and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Read more at The Guardian.