by Jacqueline Jill Rito
Pax Christi Long Island

Esteemed Leaders of Egypt, Israel, Palestine, U.S. and the U.N.,

I teach children, adolescents and young adults. I am a mother. Wherever we live, whatever our background, wanting peace in our families, in our lives, in our classrooms, in our communities, in our countries and in our world is not too much to ask. It is our right without shame to ask and to be ready and willing to work for peace, for non-violent resolutions to conflicts.

Gaza mothers in mourning.
Gaza mothers in mourning.

As teachers, we are bound by state laws to report conflict in our schools (and have continuing training mandated to resolve conflict) or face losing our license.  We are bound to resolve conflict, not exacerbate it.  Why are government leaders not held to a commensurate level of accountability and transparency?   Where is the empathy for humanity that all factions need to employ?

How would any one react in a situation in which water is withheld from the home, where families are without work, where land and crops are razed, where some are scrutinized under restriction, denials and surveillance for years? People living in desperate situations for years sometimes seek desperate measures for change. This is the premise upon which much of the current dynamic rests. Yet, this does not and will not ever exonerate the sacrifice of children and a people from either side of a conflict.  This horror must cease. People of kindred mind, heart and spirit, from ALL backgrounds must join a call for an end to violence and extremism on all sides. A solution will come only from multilateral diplomacy, and I daresay, a spiritual consciousness of the detestable destruction that is being inflicted.

It is long overdue that parties involved in these atrocities fully understand, recognize and reckon with the spiritual level of their actions which is an Eternal Law across cultures, religions and through all time.  This spiritual law is a Truth that many still cannot or refuse to recognize.  Being complicit on any side, as part of the destruction of innocents, will have its psychological, emotional and consequently social and economic repercussions.

As mother, teacher, professor, advocate for peace, worker for justice and believer in a Higher Good for all people, I take these early morning hours to beseech you to organize international leaders to do all possible in terminating the atrocity that is destroying the people of Palestine.

Thank you for accepting to review and feel these heartfelt words on behalf of mothers everywhere.

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