Gaza and the West Bank of Palestine and Israel
The scarf lining the route between Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston and Burghfield | Photo: Photo: Luke Massey.
“Several hundred protesters [from Britain Yearly Meeting] were on hand Saturday, 9 August 2014, for the unfurling of an enormous pink scarf along the seven miles of road between the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield. The protest was intended to show the scale of opposition to Trident replacement in the UK.”
A letter to my Quaker monthly meeting (and beyond), Friends Meeting at Cambridge, dear Friends,
At this summer’s New England Yearly Meeting sessions with its theme of witness, during the height of violence in Gaza and Israel, numerous Friends expressed deep concern to me personally (who many of you know has been directly connected with that region thru the American Friends Service Committee and other agencies), and in plenaries and interest groups. Yet—a huge yet—not a word that I heard from business meetings. No minutes of concern, no suggested responses, no debate, not even discussion. One possible reason for this silence is the fear of taking sides, or offending people, or diverting attention from proper business, or stepping outside the mandate of “spirituality,” or fostering division. And in our own monthly meeting, Cambridge, speaking out often counters similar resistance.
Martin Luther King Jr stated that silence is betrayal, or, alternately, silence is complicity.
British Friends during their yearly meeting, 2000 people strong, raised its voice. are they not a model for us?
Here’s how they began their bold statement:
Amid faltering ceasefires and talks, Quakers in Britain are calling for urgent action on Gaza. They urge the UK Government to recognise Palestine as a nation state; they call for a comprehensive arms embargo on all sides in the conflict and for an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza and occupation of Palestine.
The calls for action come in a statement made by the decision making body of Quakers in Britain, the Yearly Meeting, attended by 2,000 Quakers in Bath. As part of their commitment to peacemaking, Quakers continue to challenge anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
- The Yearly Meeting heard essential steps towards full and fair negotiations:
- Palestine to be recognised as a nation state
- An end to indiscriminate fire by all sides
- A comprehensive arms embargo
- An end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and blockade of Gaza
- Freeing elected Palestinian leaders now held as political prisoners
- The use of international law to hold all parties to account for their actions….
For the full statement.
And from the American Friends Service Committee.
Friends Meeting at Cambridge meeting house
Meeting for worship outside Textron Industries, manufacturer of war munitions like cluster bombs, held monthly for nearly 6 years by Friends Meeting at Cambridge
“Hague court under western pressure not to open Gaza war crimes inquiry” by Julian Borger
“One Result of the Gaza Conflict: Iran and Hamas Are Back Together” by Kay Armin Serjoie
“On World Humanitarian Day, UNRWA Honours Courageous Staff Members in Gaza” by United Nations