In 2015, AFSC and Defense for Children International-Palestine launched the No Way to Treat a Child campaign to challenge the Israeli occupation of Palestinians by exposing the systematic ill treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention. Since then, the campaign has mobilized Quakers, other faith communities, and many others across the U.S. to urge Congress to work to stop the detention of Palestinian children and end the occupation.
We hope you and your meeting/church will join our efforts!
As part of the No Way to Treat a Child campaign, Christian communities have passed church resolutions, developed curricula to study the issue, hosted speaking events, and organized visits with families impacted by detention during trips to the occupied Palestinian territory. They have also successfully advocated members of Congress to support legislation calling for an end to U.S. support for the abuse of Palestinian children, including H.R. 2407, a groundbreaking bill to protect Palestinian human rights.
Our Quaker Palestine Israel Network (QPIN) has a goal to engage 100 Quaker meetings and churches in the campaign by the end of 2020.
Here’s how your meeting/church can join:
- Watch our webinars to learn more about the issue and how to engage your meeting/church on the issue.
- Webinar 1 is an introduction to the campaign including the viewing of a short film, how to write an oped on the issue, and writing meeting minutes to further the cause.
- Webinar 2 dives into the components of H.R. 2407, a bill to protect Palestinian children's rights, and provides tips on lobbying Congress on its behalf.
- Create a small group to study the issue of Palestinian children in detention. Written and audio visual resources can be found here and here.
- Watch and show short to medium-length films developed for the campaign. Some of the recommended films include:
- Imprisoning a Generation by Anemoia Projects (includes a study guide). We have contracted for a limited number of free or low cost licenses for Quakers.
- Detaining Dreams (and study guide) by the No Way to Treat a Child Campaign
- Obaida, by Matthew Cassel
- Circulate a letter for viewers to send to Congress after the viewing of the film(s).
- Write an op-ed in support of H.R. 2407. Research shows that op-eds (not necessarily letters to the editor) can make a marked impact on public perceptions on an issue. You can find a sample published op-ed by Steve Tamari here. Use the No Way to Treat a Child op-ed writing tool here.
- Participate in legislative advocacy:
- Learn about H.R. 2407 (“Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living under Israeli Military Occupation Act”), which seeks to promote justice, equality and human rights for children globally by prohibiting any U.S. foreign aid dollars from contributing to "the military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of children in violation of international humanitarian law." More information here.
- Follow the bill's co-sponsors here.
- Organize letter-writing events to your member of Congress asking for their support of H.R. 2407 (check to see if they are a co-sponsor here). A form letter is available here. And another Quaker-specific one is available here.
- Make phone calls to your member of Congress via the congressional Switchboard (202) 224-3121. Just ask to be directed to your member’s office) to encourage their support for H.R 2407 – and thank them if they signed on! Get tips about how to talk to your member of Congress.
- Invite staff from your local congressional office to watch films (see list above) with you about child detention at their office or at a public forum.
- Raise a question at townhall meetings, asking if your member believes U.S. aid should be used to detain, torture, and abuse Palestinian children (if they don’t, they should sign the bill!).
- If your member of Congress has signed the bill, organize a thank you campaign of phone calls or deliver thank you cards to their office.
- Invite your meeting/church to write a minute in support of the bill that calls for specific action steps to be taken by the meeting/church in support of passage of the bill. Read minutes from several meetings here.
- Sign on to the faith letter written in support of the passage of H.R. 2407.
- Print out this poster and put it up in your meetinghouse or share on social media to raise awareness of the issue and the campaign. Download the poster here.
- Invite members of your meeting to sign this petition to release all Palestinian child prisoners in the midst of COVID-19.
- Get members of your Meeting/Church to be a “Citizen Co-sponsor” of H.R. 2407.
- Host a meal or organize a garage sale to raise funds for the Campaign. Funds for our advocacy work are always needed! Use our downloadable resources about the campaign to help spread the word.
- Join the Quaker organizing team inviting Quaker congregations to work toward passage of the bill. We meet monthly and strategize how to engage Quaker monthly and yearly meetings in this work. Contact Lucy Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org to join or to indicate the actions you and your meeting/church have taken.
- Connect with others who are working to support Palestinian children living under military occupation, including witness groups such as Christian Peacemaker Teams(www.cpt.org) and human rights groups who provide documentation in the field: DCI Palestine, Addameer, and Btselem.
- Follow us online