680 Global Leaders Urge Biden to End ‘Israeli Oppression’

US president was heavily criticised by Palestine advocates for not immediately calling for a ceasefire during Israel's offensive on Gaza last month

More than 680 global leaders, from politicians and Nobel laureates to leading academics and peace advocates, have called on US President Joe Biden to honour his commitments towards protecting the human rights of Palestinians.

In an open letter published earlier this week, the group called on Biden to put “human rights at the centre of US foreign policy” and to “help bring an end to Israel’s institutionalised domination and oppression of the Palestinian people”.

“A sustainable and just peace – for all people – will remain elusive if US policy holds to a political status quo devoid of justice and accountability,” the letter read.

“Moving forward, the United States must address the root causes of the violence, which successive administrations have neglected.

“Your administration must apply concerted diplomatic pressure to help end the ever-expanding discrimination and systemic oppression and ensure accountability for Israeli authorities that violate Palestinian rights.”

The 682 signatories include Israel’s former Attorney General Michael Ben-Yair; former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg; former Irish President Mary Robinson; 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman; Israeli academic Ilan Pappé; American professor Noam Chomsky; and a number of British MPs, among others.

Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza last month, which killed 248 Palestinians, including more than 60 children, posed an early litmus test for Biden’s foreign policy and his administration’s commitment to human rights and international law.


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