The Steering Committee of the Quaker Palestine Israel Network stands with Palestinians as they oppose Donald Trump’s recent decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel and the new location of the US Embassy. This decision was made in the context of decades of displacement and violence against Palestinian people, and their right to remain on their land.
Mr. Trump’s announcement was made in the context of decades of Quaker involvement in the work for peace and justice not only in Palestine and Israel as a whole, but in Jerusalem specifically. In 1948, just before the official creation of Israel, James Vail went to Jerusalem with the American Friends Service Committee alongside British Friend Edgar B. Castle. The two travelled to the Holy City with the intention of pushing for the right of the holy city to be a place of worship for all who honor it as such.
That same year, Philadelphia Quaker Harold Evans was appointed by the UN General Assembly to be the municipal commissioner of Jerusalem, as the city had been declared by the UN an international city as part of the original partition plan. British colonial officials rejected this suggestion and the ensuing war — known to Palestinians as the Nakba — led to Israel’s displacement of Palestinian Jerusalemites. Palestinians forced from their Jerusalem homes remain among the millions of Palestinians living in the diaspora, their right to return to their homes and homeland denied at every turn.
Since the Israeli occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967, Quakers have supported Palestinian residents of Jerusalem on the basis of human rights and international law. In 1974, the Quaker Service Information and Legal Aid Center in East Jerusalem was established. The center provided legal aid and emergency assistance to Palestinian detainees and their families in cases of administrative detention and helped challenge confiscations of land for Israeli settlements. In 1997, the organization became an independent Palestinian NGO called the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center, administered by a local board of trustees.
Image courtesy of the Foundation for Middle East Peace
Many Palestinians are denied access to their places of worship in Jerusalem. Palestinians are systematically displaced from their neighborhoods in Jerusalem as they continually face house demolitions, are denied permits to build or work, have residency rights revoked, and have to spend hours passing through checkpoints that restrict their movement. Mr. Trump’s decision will allow for these systematic and cruel practices to continue with ease, as Israel continues their illegal occupation of Palestinian land throughout the region and in Jerusalem particularly.
As Quakers, we believe in the basic rights of all human beings to live their lives free of the violence, humiliation and dehumanization that military occupation brings. We will continue to work towards justice and stand with the Palestinian call to Boycott and Divest from companies that profit from this violence until those rights are honored.
Logo of the Jerusalem Legal and Human Rights Center, once the Quaker Service Information and Legal Aid Center in East Jerusalem.
Recently, QPIN was pleased to host this webinar featuring AFSC’s Dalit Balm, QPIN’s Steve Tamari, and Quaker Educator / QPIN member Lauren Brownlee.
Watch the recording of the QPIN BDS Webinar
Fresh off the presses! We are pleased to announce the publication of Engaging Critics of BDS: A Resource for Activists! QPIN has written this guide as a tool for BDS activists to help counter some often encountered arguments from critics of BDS.
This document was inspired by discussions held at a Quaker consultation in April, 2016 organized by QPIN and hosted by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
Get Engaging Critics of BDS here: Engaging Critics of BDS print version
AFSC’s Mike Merryman-Lotze gives a rundown on the proposed legislation that would try and prevent you from supporting boycotts of Israel
Take action today! Contact your Senators and Representatives and tell them No, to the Israel Anti-Boycott Act!
On Tuesday, July 19th, Join Gaza Unlocked for a day of social media activism
Gaza Unlocked presents the experiences of Palestinians living in Gaza, and allows their voices to be heard beyond the oppressive and ongoing blockade Gaza residents live their lives under.
Enjoying being out in the warm, summer weather at your local Farmer’s Market? Gaza was once a bountiful grower and exporter of strawberries, but under the Israeli blockade exports have shrunk to less than 80%. Bring Gaza to your Farmer’s Market! Join Gaza Unlocked’s summer engagement effort to raise awareness about the Gaza blockade. Help conduct audience research surveys to assess what people know about the situation in Gaza and share information from Gaza Unlocked Campaign. Download flyers, and other materials to help raise awareness at your local Farmer’s Market here.
Photo: Anne Paq
During the 2014 Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, 142 Palestinian families lost three or more members. Some of the families were wiped out entirely.
The #ObliteratedFamilies project tells the stories of some of these families, their loved ones who were killed and those left behind.
Photojournalist Anne Paq and journalist Ala Qandil have embarked on a cross-country speaking tour and are visiting the following cities in the next few weeks:
April 22-23: Festival Cinema Invisible, Schenectady, New York
Screening of “Gaza: An Open Wound” Sunday, April 23, from 12 to 1:45 p.m.
View the event on the Festival Cinema Invisible website.
April 25: Seattle, Washington
Room 328, Sullivan Hall, Seattle University School of Law at the corner of 12th and Columbia, Seattle
April 26: Olympia, Washington
Doors open at 6:00 pm, and the event will start at 6:30 pm
Olympia Film Society, 266 5th Ave. SE, Olympia
Sponsored by the Rachel Corrie Foundation
April 27, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Moffitt Building, Room 106 – University of California Berkeley
Public Event sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine – Berkeley
April 30, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles, California
Workmen’s Circle Building, 1525 S. Robertson, Los Angeles
Public Event sponsored by L.A. Jews for Peace and Markaz
$10 suggested donation, $5 for students