It’s at times like this, when our screens are full of the horrors of war and hate, that we are reminded that Sanctuary is more than a notion, more than a theory……
We think of the children and young people in our schools who have found sanctuary in Ireland, who are, at the very least, now safe from war and violence. Our collective joy for the happiness of these children sits in sharp, profound and painful contrast to what is happening to the lives of children and young people in the Gaza strip and Israel. Our hearts are heavy and sore for the more than 3,500 Palestinian children that have been killed since Oct 7th and for the children killed and kidnapped in Israel.
We ask all who believe in the message of Sanctuary to join with us in calling for a total and immediate ceasefire in the region. To quote the UN Child Rights Committee, ‘there are no winners in a war where thousands of children are killed’.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are now displaced from their homes and it is hard to see now how they could ever return. Similar numbers were already refugees before this escalation of conflict. When the time comes, will we open our hearts and extend the hand of welcome to these desperate and traumatised refugees as we have done for others? Let us hope so and that our government does so too.