The below statement was issued by Britain Yearly Meeting on Nov. 18, 2012 in response to the violence in Gaza. Other Quaker organizations are invited to add their names to the statement and so far AFSC, QUNO, QCEA, New York Yearly Meeting and the Canadian Friends Service Committee have signed on.
If your Quaker organization, monthly meeting, church or yearly meeting would like to add your name to this statement, please add your name by using the comments facility. If your organization would like to sign on within the document, please contact Lucy Duncan to have your name added to the post itself. Please circulate widely.
From the Kindertransport in Europe in the 1930’s to early childhood education and youth empowerment of Palestinians in Gaza in 2012, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has dedicated itself to peace and service on behalf of all people, irrespective of their faiths and affiliations, where lives are impacted by violence, poverty and injustice.
Quakers know from centuries of engagement against war and for peace, that violence begets violence. Quakers seek to speak truth to power, and at this time the balance of power is with Israel which controls the Gaza Strip through its illegal occupation and prolonged siege.
We call for an immediate end to the use of force by all parties.
Continued military escalation and violence will do nothing to make either Palestinian or Israeli civilians safer. We ask that International law be upheld, and that all those Israelis and Palestinians who work for peace be given the opportunity to move forward together towards a shared peaceful future.
Quakers call on the international community to use its influence and diplomatic weight to act urgently to bring about a ceasefire to end the current violence. Knowing that there is a human face to this tragedy as it continues to unfold, we pray that all the people of the region be allowed to live in peace.
Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain
Shan Cretin, General Secretary, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Jane Orion Smith, General Secretary, Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC)
Andrew Tomlinson, Director New York, and Jonathan Woolley, Director Geneva, Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)
Alexandra Bosbeer and Gordon Matthews, Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA)
Christopher Sammond, General Secretary, New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM)