A Mother’s Plea for Peace


Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate – TRANSCEND Media Service

5 Jun 2024 – To all the people of Gaza I send you my deepest love and sympathy on the death of your beloved family and friends who have been murdered by the Israeli military in its ongoing war on Gaza.

I also send my deepest sympathy to all the many thousands of Palestinians who have been injured and maimed, many of whom have not been able to access medical help due to the killing of medical staff and bombing by Israel of many hospitals.

I cannot begin to understand the depth of your pain on the loss of those you love. I can only say ‘I am sorry – please forgive me that I did not do enough to help stop this madness of military violence which cruelly took away the ones you love.’

I am aware that in Gaza today there is famine and Palestinian children are dying of starvation. Aware too that whilst Israel refuses to open borders to allow food into Gaza, one in three Gazan children suffer malnutrition and if there is no immediate policy change by Israel, thousands and thousands of children will be starved to death! This ongoing genocide by Israel is being played out on all our television screens around the world.

Also whilst Palestinians are dying of bombing and starvation, made refugees yet again,  and being bombed and murdered in refugee tents, (with weapons made and paid for by USA and Europe), Israel builds new roads, watchtowers, and new military structures in Gaza in preparation of its land grab, of yet more Gazan land ensuring that the people of Gaza will be well and truly locked into the biggest prison camp courtesy of the US,  Britain, France, Germany, etc.

These countries have sold out on human rights and democracy continuing to provide weapons, money and political credibility to Israel, which has militarily murdered over 36,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, whilst lecturing the rest of the world on the need for human rights and democracy.  Shame indeed!

But Palestinians can take hope from the millions of extraordinary wonderful men, women, teenagers, students, children around the world who have followed their hearts and responded with love in action, demanding the genocidal actions of Israel to stop, and countries like USA, Britain, Germany stop colluding with Israel.

From South Africa, that rightly and courageously took Israel to the ICJ-International Court of Justice on a charge of Genocide, and the ICC-International Criminal Court, that have charged the Israeli and Palestinian leaders for war crimes. So too students throughout the US standing against Israeli genocide of Palestinians.

The people of the world have stood and will continue to stand in solidarity with Palestinians in spite of the fact that many government leaders are not reflecting the will of their people.

I believe a democratic free Palestine is possible if the West drops its double standards, stops financing and arming a land grab, ethnic cleansing, colonization, and genocide of the Palestine people by the Israeli government.

Palestinian children have a right to live and be protected from violence, poverty, starvation, just as we demand for our children wherever we live.  This continuing massacre of the holy innocents by Israel military is a war crime and those responsible for such barbaric genocidal acts on the little children must be held accountable before international law.


Mairead Corrigan Maguire, co-founder of Peace People, is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book, The Vision of Peace, (edited by John Dear with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from www.wipfandstock.com. She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See: www.peacepeople.com.

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 17 Jun 2024.

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