U.S. President Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to the media before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. on November 9, 2023.

(Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

'No Possibility' of Gaza Cease-Fire, Biden Says as 500+ Former Staffers Demand One

"As the president of the United States, you have power to change the course of history, and the responsibility to save lives right now," the staffers wrote.

U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters Thursday that there is "no possibility" of a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, a remark that came as hundreds of his former 2020 campaign staffers released an open letter urging him to support a cease-fire or be complicit in genocide.

Asked about the chances of a cease-fire in Gaza as he left the White House for a trip to Illinois, the president responded, "None."

Biden said he has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to a "pause" of longer than three days, but Netanyahu has thus far refused. Earlier Thursday, the White House announced that Israel has agreed to allow daily four-hour pauses in parts of northern Gaza, which is currently encircled by Israeli troops.

The U.S. president's refusal to support a cease-fire amid Gaza's horrific humanitarian crisis and mounting death toll from Israeli bombing has drawn major street protests and sharp criticism from members of his own party.

On Thursday, more than 500 alumni of Biden's 2020 presidential campaign published a letter imploring the president to "call for a cease-fire, hostage exchange, and de-escalation, and take concrete steps to address the conditions of occupation, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing at the root of the horrific violence we are witnessing now."

In just over a month, Israeli bombing has killed nearly 11,000 people in Gaza and displaced more than 70% of the territory's population.

"We were and continue to be horrified by the devastating Hamas attack against Israeli civilians on October 7," the ex-staffers wrote. "Yet, in this moment of pain, we cannot condemn violence and the murder of some civilians while simultaneously justifying and enabling it for others."

The letter, first reported by Vox, specifically presses Biden to "use financial and diplomatic leverage" to help bring about an immediate cease-fire, end unconditional military assistance for Israel, and push for the release of all hostages held by Hamas and the more than "1,200 people in administrative detention—99% of whom are Palestinians—being held without charge" by Israel.

"There will be no justice, peace, or security for Palestinians or Israelis without dismantling the status quo of the past 75 years," the letter reads. "As the president of the United States, you have power to change the course of history, and the responsibility to save lives right now. We are counting on you to take that power and responsibility seriously and to meet this moment with the urgency it demands. If you fail to act swiftly, your legacy will be complicity in the face of genocide."

The ex-Biden staffers joined the growing number of campaign alumni who are urging their former bosses to support a cease-fire. In recent weeks, hundreds of former campaign staffers for U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have called on the lawmakers to endorse a cease-fire.

To date, none of them have done so.

Current congressional staffers and State Department officials have also become increasingly critical of the Biden administration's unwavering support for Israel's assault on Gaza as the U.S.-backed atrocities continue and the evidence of grave war crimes grows.

"This is a rupture that's happening," Matan Arad-Neeman, an Israeli-American activist who worked as a field organizer for Biden in Arizona, toldVox's Jonathan Guyer. "I hope that he recognizes that those of us who put so much time into his campaign are feeling ashamed of his administration's position right now."

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