Quaker org supports student protests demanding divestment for Palestinian rights

Layne Mullett
Director of Media Relations


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PHILADELPHIA (May 3, 2024) – Over the last two weeks, students across the United States have initiated protests and campus occupations demanding that their colleges and universities divest from companies profiting from Israel’s brutal war on Gaza. The American Friends Service Committee – a Quaker organization that has worked in Gaza for decades – voiced support for the students and provides a divestment list and other resources.  

“The student encampments that started in the U.S., and are now spreading elsewhere in the world, send a message of hope to the people of Gaza that after seven months of genocide they are not forgotten,” said Yousef Aljamal, Gaza Coordinator for AFSC. “People in Gaza have followed with interest and aspiration that the protests will build up pressure leading to a cease-fire. Displaced Palestinians in Gaza are writing messages to the student protesters on their tents, thanking them and asking them to keep going. What people in Gaza want today is for the world to tell them ‘We hear you and you are not alone.’”

AFSC has been supporting humanitarian efforts in Gaza since 1948 and currently has staff in Gaza, Ramallah, and Jerusalem, as well as in Jordan. AFSC staff in Gaza have been serving hot meals from an open-air kitchen to displaced people living outside of shelters in Rafah. Since October, they have provided humanitarian aid to more than 542,000 people. In the U.S., AFSC programs are working to put pressure on the Biden administration and Congress to call for a permanent cease-fire, full humanitarian access, and an end to U.S. military funding for Israel. 

“We want to express our solidarity and support for the thousands of students taking nonviolent direct action to demand accountability from their universities and their government,” said Lewis Webb, U.S. Peacebuilding Director for AFSC. “They are risking arrest and police violence because they know that we cannot sit idly while the U.S. government funds a genocide and U.S. corporations profit from it. We strongly condemn the police violence enacted on these students, and join thousands of others in calling for all charges and disciplinary actions against these students to be immediately dropped.”

AFSC’s Action Center for Corporate Accountability has been providing research and tools to help students, faith communities, and community groups identify if their institutions are invested in state violence. They have published a list of companies profiting from the attacks on Gaza, and maintain an online tool that can identify publicly traded corporations invested in occupations, prisons, and border militarization. 


The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) promotes a world free of violence, inequality, and oppression. Guided by the Quaker belief in the divine light within each person, we nurture the seeds of change and the respect for human life to fundamentally transform our societies and institutions. We work with people and partners worldwide, of all faiths and backgrounds, to meet urgent community needs, challenge injustice, and build peace.