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Majority of National Book Award Finalists Call for Ceasefire During Prize Ceremony

HeadlineNov 16, 2023

At the prestigious National Book Awards ceremony in New York last night, 20 of the 25 nominated authors made a collective statement on stage calling for a ceasefire. This is author Aaliyah Bilal.

Aaliyah Bilal: “On behalf of the finalists, we oppose the ongoing bombardment of Gaza and call for a humanitarian ceasefire to address the urgent humanitarian needs of Palestinian civilians, particularly children. We oppose antisemitism and anti-Palestinian sentiment and Islamophobia equally, accepting the human dignity of all parties, knowing that further bloodshed does nothing to secure lasting peace.”

One of the event’s sponsors, Zibby Media, withdrew its support ahead of the prize ceremony, after learning of the authors’ plan to speak out against the war.

Meanwhile, Black Christian faith leaders have been meeting with White House officials and members of the Congressional Black Caucus to call for an end to the violence. Last week, over 900 Black faith leaders representing churches across the U.S. took out a full-page ad in The New York Times to call for a ceasefire and a commitment to a meaningful peace process.

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