Events Israel/Palestine News Welcome

Hi everyone, I am 15 years old, and a sophomore at Portage Central High School. 

(remarks to Portage City Council in favor of a resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza – Dec. 19, 2023)

Today, I am here to address a pressing global concern that demands our attention and urgent action – the need for a ceasefire in Gaza. This ongoing conflict has inflicted immense suffering on innocent civilians, creating a humanitarian crisis that requires our immediate help.

It is crucial to recognize the human toll of this conflict. Families in Gaza are enduring unimaginable hardships, with their lives being disrupted, their homes destroyed, and their futures uncertain. it is essential to remember that behind each statistic lies a story—a life gone too soon, dreams left unfulfilled, and families shattered by grief. The human tragedy unfolding in Gaza right in front of our eyes demands our empathy and forces us to confront the harsh realities of armed conflict and a genocide happening before us.

The true magnitude of this loss extends beyond mere numbers. It shows the marks of a region scarred by the trauma of violence. A community grappling with the void left by those who will never return—these are the human dimensions that statistics alone cannot capture.

But, we as a community must not turn a blind eye to the suffering endured by the people of Gaza. Each casualty represents a call to action, urging us to strive for lasting peace and to work towards diplomatic solutions that prevent such devastating conflicts to continue. 

A ceasefire is not just a pause in hostilities; it is a lifeline for those caught in the crossfire. It offers an opportunity for negotiation. By demanding a stop of hostilities, we pave the way for humanitarian aid to reach those who need it most – the vulnerable, the displaced, and the innocent victims of conflict.

I look at my screen and see kids my age, younger. All with that same look on their face; shock. I put myself in their shoes; imagining my sister, wounds all over her body, shaking in fear. My mom screaming in agony because of her amputated arm and leg, my dad working endlessly, starving to death, screaming MY name. He’s searching for me, but I can’t hear him, why? I am stuck under the rubble. 

How is this fair? Why am I here while they’re there? Why am I able to live a life of privilege and comfort while they are struggling every single day to simply STAY ALIVE. How are you just sitting and watching this all happen? This is not okay. They are HUMANS, real people. KIDS just like me. They have dreams, goals, aspirations. But the children, still stuck under the ruins of their own home, they will never grow up. You have the power to do something.

We as a community, must stand united in calling for a ceasefire, urging all parties to lay down their weapons. Each of us, every voice, matters in our compassion, empathy, and the pursuit of peace. We must scream for a call for a ceasefire, reminding those in positions of power that the world is watching. It is a call that doesn’t matter of your political affiliations, religious beliefs, and geographical boundaries, it is for our shared values of peace, justice, and the importance of human life.

May our voice echo across borders. In unity, we can be a force that demands change, that demands a ceasefire in Gaza for the sake of a better, more peaceful world. In the face of adversity, let us not forget our shared humanity. Together, we can be architects of peace, advocates for the voiceless, and champions of a brighter future for the people of Palestine. 

Thank you.