Youth Letter to President Biden on Palestine

On November 9th, 2023, we sent a letter along with our friends in the movement to call on President Biden to act with urgency to end the violence in Gaza. We spoke in one voice to demand the President do everything in his power to protect innocent life. The cause of justice demands nothing less.

Dear President Biden,

We are a diverse group of leaders, spanning race, class, and geography from youth organizations who mobilize our generations and build political power for young people. We mobilized the record youth turnout in 2020 that pushed your ticket over the finish line in key swing states. Many of us worked to provide the critical source of support for Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections that prevented the Red Wave. We have been preparing to mobilize the youth vote again as you face your re-election. We are experts in youth voting behavior who have worked tirelessly across the years to generate Generation Z and Millennial enthusiasm for civic action under a variety of circumstances. We share your conviction that the 2024 election will be one of the most important in American history. We write to you to issue a very stark and unmistakable warning: you and your Administration’s stance on Gaza risks millions of young voters staying home or voting third party next year. We are pleading with you to use every tool available to you to broker a ceasefire, now, and to revive the peace process. 

As we write this, over 1,400 Israelis, 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza, and 100 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have been killed. We came of age during two decades of endless war that cost thousands of American lives and millions of lives around the world. We know that the longer you allow the siege of Gaza to continue, the greater the risk of this spiraling into a broader regional conflict, potentially pulling U.S. troops into combat or occupation. This would be both a moral and political disaster.

There is no way for a Democratic presidential nominee to win without significant youth voter enthusiasm and mobilization. Young people are a cornerstone of a winning Democratic coalition, and the vast majority of young people in this country are rightfully horrified by the atrocities committed with our tax dollars, with your support, and our nation’s military backing. We did not spend hours upon hours knocking doors and making calls to turn out the vote so that you could support indiscriminate slaughter of civilians and violations of international law. We fear that it will not be possible for those committed to turning out the youth vote this election to recruit the volunteers, organizers, staff, and donors needed to deliver the margins for Democratic victory down the ballot. Young people across the country are terrified, we are grieving, and we need to see the Biden administration stand up against all human rights violations.

The polls reflect what we are seeing in our communities and organizations over the last month:

  • According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, young voters are deeply disturbed by your position on the war. Amongst voters under 35, 65% oppose “sending more military aid to Israel and only 22% approve of your handling of the Israel/Hamas war”.
  • The same poll found your favorability rating among voters under 35 has fallen to just 25%. While young people are particularly opposed to handing the Israeli military a blank check, 80% of Democrats and 66% of all likely voters support a ceasefire.
  • In Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin the number of Muslim and Arab voters exceeds the margins you won by; your pollster Lake Research Partners found that support for your administration has “cratered among Muslim, Arab, and young Democrats in Michigan”, a state you won by only 150,000 votes in 2020.  Now, just 61% of Michigan Democrats under 30 support your re-election, with 21% opting to vote third party.
  • A New York Times poll shows you trailing Trump in 5 out of the 6 critical swing states by an average of 48-44%, which is in huge part driven by the fact that you currently are favored by voters under 30 by only 1 percentage point. 
  • You are “bleeding support” among young Black and Brown voters in particular, who powered your victories in the key swing states that delivered you the electoral college.

You cannot win this election by only telling our generation that you are the lesser of two evils. The position of your administration is badly out of step with young people and the positions of Democratic voters, whom have been shown to support a ceasefire by supermajorities in multiple polls. This is already becoming an issue we are hearing about from thousands of young people across the country. We cannot explain your position to the people of our generation.

For the sake of Palestinians, Israelis, morality, humanity, your own political future, and American democracy itself: we urge you to do everything in your power to stop the current cycle of violence and move from the path of war towards the path of peace and justice. Call for a ceasefire and a safe return for all hostages. Stand up for humanity on the international stage. Do not continue to enable war crimes through word, deed, or dollars.

While we have not always agreed, we have always appreciated your administration’s willingness to listen to our voices and include our interests as a vital component of the coalition you represent. Doing so helped to make you President, deliver a Democratic trifecta in 2020, and prevent a Red Wave in the 2022 midterms. However, we believe you are failing to hear us on this issue, and we are deeply concerned about the potential consequences. The decisions you have made thus far surrounding Gaza have made it harder for us to convince our communities to organize and get out the vote in 2024. We urge you to reverse course as quickly as possible. No more innocent people should be killed. We deeply understand that America and the world cannot afford another four years of far-right leadership. However, that is the path you are risking. Stand on the right side of history. Your legacy hangs in the balance.


Natalie Fall, March for Our Lives, Executive Director 

Victoria Hammett, GenZ for Change, Deputy Executive Director

Elise Joshi, GenZ for Change, Executive Director 

Aidan Kohn-Murphy, Gen Z for Change, Founder and Senior Advisor

Jack Petocz, GenZ for Change,  Mobilization Coordinator

Varshini Prakash, Sunrise Movement, Former Executive Director

Geoff Simpson, Justice Democrats, Campaigns Director

Aru Shiney-Ajay, Sunrise Movement, Executive Director

United We Dream Action 

Evan Weber, Sunrise Movement, Former Political Director

Michele Weindling, Sunrise Movement, Political Director