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.
QIB sends human rights monitors to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, but not Gaza.
On behalf of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and other Christian agencies Quakers in Britain runs the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). Ecumenical accompaniers focus global attention on Israeli and Palestinian peace and human rights groups.
The Yearly Meeting: 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.
Foreign Office ministers invited representatives from faith and secular agencies to share views and experience of the region on the crisis. Teresa Parker, programme manager for Israel and Palestine for Quakers in Britain attended.
The Yearly Meeting statement says:
“As we among other Nobel Peace Laureates have said, ‘The conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis will only be resolved when Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory is ended and the inherent equality, worth, and dignity of all is realised.’ Peacebuilding is a long and demanding path to take… We long for – and will work for – a time when the fear experienced on all sides is replaced by a sense of security.”
A statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict made by Quakers in Britain at their Yearly Meeting in Bath, 8 August 2014 may be read here.