Quakers (and others) can strengthen their opposition to caging children by joining the No Way To Treat A Child campaign.

Image result for children arrested israel

Friends can strengthen their opposition to caging children by joining the No Way To Treat A Child campaign. Spirit continues to lead Northeast Kingdom Quaker Meeting to explore, discern, and season our support of No Way To Treat A Child over a year when Northwest Quarter (comprising Friends from Vermont and western New Hampshire) supported passage of Rep. Betty McCullum’s H.R. 2407: Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under the Israeli Military Occupation Act. Friends in Maine and New Hampshire—Belfast, Midcoast, and Hanover Monthly Meetings—recently sought our help to learn more about this effort to prohibit U.S. taxpayer funding for the military detention of children by any country.

Friends agree that no child should be tortured and no child should be denied due process. AFSC’s campaigns for justice in Palestine and Israel reflect a rights-based approach. Since HR 2407 died in the last Congress, a new “House Resolution” is likely to come forward during the opening months of this current 117th Congress. We urge Friends to engage with your members of Congress to become co-sponsors of legislation supporting the rights of children.

 

Reminding us that “there are 200,000 young people under 18 years old in prisons throughout the United States” AFSC’s Healing Justice Coordinator Lewis Webb asserts that America’s criminal justice system targets black and brown children in the same way that the Israeli military occupiers target Palestinian children. Monthly Meetings can respond to New England Yearly Meeting’s Two Calls to Action transnationally by examining settler colonialism both here in the States and in Israel/Palestine. Join AFSC’s effort to defend immigrant rights and broadcast how enforcement, detention, and deportation is, as Kristin Kumpf calls it, a “cycle grounded in violence.”

H.R. 2407 – Promoting Human Rights For Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation

Northwest Quarter Minute on No Way To Treat a Child

An Israeli soldier holds down 11-year-old Palestinian boy Mohammed Tamimi in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty
2020­3­8. A number of Meetings in the Quarter have considered the Quarter’s charge to look at the AFSC’s No Way to Treat a Child program. Friends in Bennington, Burlington, and Putney as well as Friends present report being in unity with this program. Others are still considering or have not yet had a chance to complete this task. We spoke of ways to continue with this concern.

We ask New England Yearly Meeting to consider supporting the AFSC program “No Way to Treat a Child” and support the bill HR2407, entitled “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under the Israeli Military Occupation Act” at Sessions.

We might like to hear more information on a Zoom call or a webinar, although we may tap into existing webinars on this topic. We would like to have a Quarter letter-writing campaign, and Progressive Secretary might be a tool to accomplish this. We might host speakers at a future Quarterly Meeting. We are in this for the long haul.

Several people stepped forward to move this work forward. Carl Williams, Connie Kincaid-Brown, Scott Rhodewalt, and Susan Rhodewalt will work on a letter packet. Ruah Swennerfelt will work with Progressive Secretary to post the letter. Ruah Swennerfelt will also invite Brad Parker of the National Defense for Children and Jennifer Bing of the American Friends Service Committee for our Zoom call or webinar. Cliff Bennett and Scott Rhodewalt will help.

We leave the discussion of this topic reminding ourselves again to search for the courage to talk with our neighbors on these hard topics. It is part of a larger picture. Concern for the safety and welfare of children applies not only to the Israeli/Palestinian border but also treatment of children at the U.S.- Mexico border and in our detention system. We need to hold ourselves accountable. We also need to trust in the Spirit.

Defense for Children International-Palestine

Is this disturbing video Israel’s Eric Garner moment? by Max Fishermax, August 31, 2015

Selectively ending incarceration during the age of the coronavirus pandemic

Israel raids offices of Palestinian prisoner rights activists ...

Palestinian prisoners sit during visiting hours at Israel’s Gilboa prison (AFP)

Friends’ compassion for those who are imprisoned (about 2.3 million) leads us* to call for monthly and yearly meetings throughout this nation to support:

    1. American Friends Service Committee’s call for compassionate release of elderly people and others who are medically vulnerable;  (AFSC)
    2. Palestine’s request that Israel “take immediate action to release all Palestinian child detainees in Israeli prisons due to the rapid global spread of the COVID-19 virus” as this is No Way To Treat A Child.  (DCIP)

Quakers’ legacy of being imprisoned offers us empathy for all who face the current pandemic while detained in intrinsically unsanitary and crowded conditions. Incarceration during the time of plague is genocide. Consequently, the Israel Palestine Working Group and the Racial, Social, and Economic Justice committee of NEYM urge all Friends to work for the release of the vulnerable.

*The Israel Palestine Working Group and the Racial, Social, and Economic Justice Committee of New England Yearly Meeting

Supreme Court Rules California Must Cut Prison Population : NPR

Inmates at California’s Chino State Prison sit inside a metal cage in the hallway as they wait to be assigned permanent housing or for medical, mental health, counselor or other appointments.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images