Boycott call echoes at White House Correspondents' Dinner over Gaza conflict casualties, Palestinian journalist deaths. / Photo: AFP

White House correspondents’ dinner faces boycott over Gaza journo killings

Palestinian journalists are calling for a boycott of the White House Correspondents' Dinner in protest against Israeli brutalities in the Gaza war.

The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, which annually brings reporters, politicians and a glitzy array of celebrities together in a mostly lighthearted affair, will take place Saturday under very different circumstances, including a call for a boycott by Palestinian journalists.

With President Joe Biden heading a long list of VIP guests, more than two dozen Palestinian journalists this week issued an open letter urging their American colleagues to boycott the dinner.

“You have a unique responsibility to speak truth to power and uphold journalistic integrity,” said the letter.

“It is unacceptable to stay silent out of fear or professional concern while journalists in Gaza continue to be detained, tortured, and killed for doing our jobs.”

According to the New York-based Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), at least 97 journalists — including 92 Palestinians — have been killed since October 7. At least 16 others have been wounded.

In addition to the boycott call, an anti-war coalition is planning a demonstration not far from the Washington Hilton hotel where the dinner is to take place.

The anti-war group Code Pink, part of the coalition, said it planned to “shut down” the dinner to protest “the complicity of the Biden administration in the targeting and killing of Palestinian journalists by the Israeli military.”

It said its action would be “non-violent” but offered no details.

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