Friends are united in concern about the death and destruction occurring in Israel and Palestine. We believe we are called to care about all who suffer in this conflict and to respond as we each are led. We seek to educate ourselves and our Meetings about the crisis and to find helpful ways to respond individually and together.
The most important thing we can do is to
learn about the situation for ourselves. Check out the books
and videos on the Resources page,
and also the web sites on the Links page.
The best way to learn is to see for yourself.
There are several organizations that take people in tours through
the Occupied Territories. You can experience the checkpoints
and see the refugee camps, meet with Palestinians living under
occupation, and the Israelis working towards a just peace for
Palestinians and Israelis. You can visit Ramallah Friends Meeting and the historic Friends Schools nearby. Friends who visit become key sources of information and understanding in our Meetings and communities. A special Quaker opportunity is Max and Jane Carter's annual work-study trip, with hands-on volunteering at Friends Schools, travel throughout Israel and Palestine, seminars, and key contacts with leaders, peace workers, and ordinary Palestinians for meals and friendship.
Here are some other ways that Friends can get involved:
- Start an action group or study group in your Meeting. Schedule discussions,
videos, and speakers. Share informational materials from FCNL
and AFSC, and develop your own. Invite Friends to adopt minutes
and statements of support for a just, viable, and lasting peace
that provides security to Israel and an end to the repression
of the Palestinian people.
- Talk to others
in your Meeting and to your friends and families. Do your own
research. Open a dialogue with the people around you about the
situation in Palestine and Israel. Your voice can reach others
and help begin the sharing of little-known information about
the way that militaristic policies are causing suffering in Palestine
and are failing to bring security to Israel, to the wider Middle
East, and to the US.
- Get involved in your community. Friends can join local advocacy groups and tell
their Meetings about this important work. Many groups are listed
Friends can help start interfaith community groups and can contact
Jewish groups like Jewish
Voice for Peace that seek supporters, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Dialogue groups can help Jews-Muslims-Christians explore the issues in a supportive way.
- Call or fax the White House and State Department. Daily contacts are tallied up, so consider calling or faxing weekly or even daily to be sure Friends' views are heard. White House Contact: phone 202-456-1111; FAX: 202-456-2461; Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>; State Department comment line: 202-647-6575.
- Call, write, fax or visit your representatives. A delegation from your Meeting could be especially effective, as could a letter signed by a group of Friends or a well-organized postcard campaign. Urge an end to US tax dollars funding Israel's military repression of Palestinians and the Israeli settlements and wall placed in Palestinian land. Find legislators' contact information at <www.congress.org>. Phone (202) 224-3121 to speak to any Senator; (202) 225-3121 for Representatives.
- Share informational handouts.
- Write a letter to the local press to protest biased reporting and US policies that emphasize militarism over diplomacy and economic development.
- Support the work of AFSC's Faces of Hope project to bolster the Palestinian economy via the purchase of olive oil and crafts.
- Support the century-long Quaker presence in Palestine. Contact Ramallah Friends Meeting, and Ramallah Friends School. Ask how your Meeting can help.
- Consider economic action to oppose the supply of arms to the region and to impress upon combatants the urgency of negotiating a just peace. Link with Friends or act individually.
- Support the visit to Palestine of someone
in your Meeting. Friends who visit become key sources of information and understanding in our Meetings and communities. Their presence in the Occupied Territories is a strong statement of support and can help deter violence and document difficulties that are unreported in our media. See the review of travel opportunities.
- Become an international volunteer. Contact these organizations: