OPEN Letter From Northern Ireland
[published 1.11.23 in US Irish/American paper The Irish Echo]
To Joe Biden, President of the United States of America,
Across the island of Ireland, thousands of families live with the unending grief of having lost loved ones to conflict borne of oppression and systemic injustice.
We cannot stand by and watch as thousands of innocent people in Palestine are slaughtered in response to the atrocity committed by Hamas on the 7th of October.
We stand in grief with all who have lost and suffered. Yet, our history means we know that more conflict is not the answer.
You visited Ireland just six months ago to mark peace on our island, the contribution to it of the US government and your own much-loved Irish heritage.
We know well the imperfections of the peace in Northern Ireland and how far we still have to go. But the days of constant killings and unbearable suffering are over here. At times it seemed impossible, but it was done.
Now we are watching in horror as the leader of the Israeli government, Benjamin Netanyahu, launches a genocidal war on the people of Gaza, who are without food, water, fuel or electricity, having already lived in an apartheid state for decades.
As President of the United States of America, you have a unique role to play. We ask you to do all in your power to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and work towards a sustained peace in the region grounded in justice, freedom and equality for all.
Signed: Act Now in Northern Ireland and Uplift Republic of Ireland