Burlington Friends Meeting,
Burlington, Vermont, adopted November 2014
This minute takes inspiration from the August 8, 2014, minute by Quakers at Britain Yearly Meeting Sessions.
2014-8: The hostilities in Gaza are the latest eruption of the deep and long-running conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Root causes of this conflict, including the structural violence of occupation and the historical Arab opposition to the existence of the state of Israel must be addressed. Such violence damages all the people of the region.
Burlington Friends recognize the latest ceasefire provides a critical opportunity for a just and lasting solution. Based on the long-standing experience of many Quakers working on this issue in Palestine, Israel and the United States and learning from the daily lives of Quakers in Ramallah, we call on the U.S. to take a strong leadership role by moving immediately toward:
- Support for self-determination of the Palestinian people.
- Agreement to an extension of the ceasefire by all parties
- Initiation of a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and armed Palestinian groups
- A swift timeline for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and blockade of Gaza
- Negotiation of the freeing of elected Palestinian leaders now held as political prisoners
- Use of international law to hold all parties to account for their actions
Commitment to a collaborative multi-national investment in humanitarian aid, trauma-informed mental health services and re-construction of infrastructure for all affected communities.
We feel called to speak and act alongside others to address the roots of violence. We continue to uphold Quakers in the region and those working nonviolently for peace and human rights within Israel and Palestine. Quakers will continue to challenge anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, as we oppose all forms of prejudice. We long for — and will work for — a time when the deep fear experienced on all sides is replaced by security and a just peace. We recognize that peace-building is a long and demanding path to take, but an essential one.