Irresponsible Leadership

Dear Friends for Life:   Irresponsible leadership is causing physical injuries and casualties to children by bombing and airstrikes on Gaza. UN reports an estimated 370,000 Palestinian children are in need of “psycho-social first aid”. I believe the leaders of both countries should be held accountable to the world for crimes against humanity.

Children must never, never, never be targets of violence and conflict. These innocent victims cannot comprehend what is happening around them. They just want it all to stop. They want to live safely in a house with their mother and father, they want to go to school, study and play with their friends.

Gaza001Here is a photo (UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1157/El Baba) of a child. He lost one eye and lost sight in the other during a blast that reportedly killed his father and eight members of his family. Doctors say that the child continues to ask why they “switched the lights off.”

The sad part is that the entire family is affected. The father cannot protect his family, the mother cannot protect her children, the children cannot protect their parents. According to one UN observer, there isn’t a single family in Gaza who hasn’t experienced personally death, injury, the loss of their home, extensive damage, displacement.

For instance, the family has witnessed the killing of 469 children in July alone and over 3000 injured; the deaths of an unknown number of mothers, fathers, and grandparents; the damage of 219 schools by airstrikes, 22 completely destroyed; the breakdown of infrastructure. In short, the family is presently witnessing the complete destruction of daily life as it has been known.

Only by putting ourselves into the shoes of a Palestinian family can we experience the depth of their suffering and sorrow. One day a happy family, the next suffering and shock.

Without the family, can Palestine survive? The continual spiral of violence is leading to a very unstable future in the area. The irresponsible leadership of both countries needs to grow up and start acting like mature adults. Their job is not to shoot missiles at each other, but to reach a workable agreement to an end hostilities and sincerely address the underlying issues which are an obstacle to a peaceful co-existence. If they lack the will or ability to do this, maybe it is time for new elections, for new leaders who are capable of doing their job.

God Bless
Jerry Novotny, OMI



PopeThe Difference is LIFE“Never war, never war,” he said. “I am thinking, above all, of children who are deprived of the hope of a worthwhile life, a future. Dead children, wounded children, mutilated children, orphaned children, children whose toys are things left over from war, children who don’t know how to smile.” This was the moment when the tears came. “Please stop,” said Francis. “I ask you with all my heart, it’s time to stop. Stop, please!” -Pope Francis



Websites by Fr. Jerry Website Website (in Japanese)

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