What Quaker congregations can do to help end the conflict in Israel/Palestine

Participants in a TIAA-CREF Divestment Workshop

Participants in a TIAA-CREF Divestment Workshop

Participants in a TIAA-CREF Divestment Workshop

Photo: 
AFSC

Quaker churches and meetings can help support the end of the conflict in Israel/Palestine by considering the issue as a meeting and participating in several activities.

AFSC is supporting and organizing with the We Divest – TIAA-CREF Campaign urging divestment from companies and corporations that benefit from the occupation and conflict in Israel/Palestine. Quakers around the country are also involved, and several monthly and yearly meetings have considered and approved minutes on the concern, including Illinois Yearly Meeting. Anne Remley of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting has been working to organize a network of Quakers working on this issue and can serve as a resource for meetings and Friends, as can AFSC staff.

Already there have been successes in the campaign—Friends Fiduciary has divested $900,000 from the Caterpillar Corporation and TIAA-CREF has excluded Caterpillar from its social choice accounts in part due to its contracts with the Israeli military. But Caterpillar is not the only company benefitting from the occupation and conflict, and there is more work to do. (Listen to a call with Michael Merryman-Lotze and Anne Remley to learn more about AFSC's involvement and how Ann Arbor Meeting has become active.)

Invite your meeting to join the campaign. Your meeting can:

  1. As a congregation, read the document “Principles for a Just and Lasting Peace between Palestinians and Israelis” and watch the video of Rabbi Alissa Wise talking about the campaign. Consider writing a minute of support for the campaign.
  2. Dedicate one Sunday per month to letter-writing to representatives or your local paper after worship.
  3. Host a house party and invite a speaker to come and talk about the We Divest Campaign or about the situation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories. 
  4. Watch "5 Broken Cameras" and host a discussion using AFSC's resource guide.
  5. Boycott Sodastream and join an interfaith group of people of conscience calling on all consumers and stores to stop buying and selling SodaStream products, which are manufactured within an Israeli settlement in occupied Palestinian territory.

There are other options here. Start with the document “Five ways to engage with AFSC on Israel and Palestine.”

Below are more resources to support your meetings. Please let us know if you make use of these resources and how they worked for you.

Podcast:  Learn more about AFSC's involvement in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. 

Here is a video of Rabbi Alissa Wise talking about lessons she’s learned while being involved in the We Divest campaign.

Listen to Lucy Duncan speak about the divestment campaign (2:00).

Listen to AFSC's Michael Merryman-Lotze and Anne Remley of Ann Arbor Meeting on how AFSC and Quakers are joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. (49:52).

Five ways to engage with AFSC on Israel and Palestine

  1.  Start a local SodaStream boycott campaign & engage with the interfaith coalition @ sodastreamboycott.org
  2.  Join the We Divest campaign & contact TIAA-CREF about your pension funds@ wedivest.org
  3. Educate your community about Palestinian nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation – Show “5 Broken Cameras” & use the new AFSC 5 Broken Cameras toolkit.
  4. Support lobbying efforts to end/condition US military aid to Israel. www.aidtoIsrael.org

Principles for a Just and Lasting Peace Between Palestinians and Israelis

From its beginnings in 1917, the American Friends Service Committee has sought to repair the destruction caused by war and violence by relieving and healing its victims. AFSC has sought to respond to suffering whether it is caused by direct human actions or by oppressive structures that human beings have created.

Join the We Divest Campaign

Join the We Divest Campaign

5 Broken Cameras Discussion Guide and Resources

This resource guide is intended to help facilitate discussion about the film “5 Broken Cameras” by social action groups, classes, and other interested parties.  We hope that discussion of this important film becomes a vehicle for developing a greater understanding of the issues involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and nonviolent resistance in Palestine.  

Who we are

AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

Where we work

AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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