Children normally pray brief and sweet prayers before they go to bed. Friday evening, my seven-year-old daughter, a Lebanese, and her four-year-old cousin, an American, stood side by side, stretched up their hands, and prayed. It was neither a prayer to keep them safe during the night nor was it a prayer to bless Dad and Mom. It was not even addressed to God or Jesus, as prayers usually are.

It was a spontaneous prayer that came from pure hearts, mingled with politics and the current tragic events. "Condoleezza Rice," they said. "We are in trouble in Lebanon. Please save us!"

They repeated this prayer several times. When my daughter was told that prayers should be directed toward Jesus or God, she answered: "But Condoleezza is able to stop the war on us, is she not?"

Ms. Rice, would you hear and answer this prayer? It is not a prayer of just two children. It is a prayer of thousands of children who are displaced in Lebanon and thousands of children who are in shelters in Israel. It is a prayer of children who are physically and psychologically injured. It is a prayer that comes out of the rubble of southern Lebanon and Haifa.

I beg you not to respond by saying that circumstances are not right for a cease-fire or that it is not politically appropriate to do so. There is and will never be an acceptable excuse for the killing of civilians. The excuse that the U.S. is waiting for a "sustainable solution" without calling for an immediate cease fire is nonsense. It is only a green light for Israel to continue its atrocities in Lebanon. For stopping a war, for holding a fight, for checking the destruction of homes and livelihoods, for peace and negotiation, the time is always appropriate.

Sunday morning, I woke up to the news that an ...

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