Minute from Ann Arbor Friends Meeting in support of Palestine & Israel
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Minute from Ann Arbor Friends Meeting, July 17, 2011 in support of Palestine & Israel
The Ann Arbor Friends Meeting recognizes the complex international dynamics that feed the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, creating fear on both sides and putting both Palestinians and Israelis at risk. We are concerned about the safety and well-being of all affected by this conflict. We wish to ally ourselves with those in Israel and Palestine working to bring peace.
We believe that one key step towards stability and safety for both Israelis and Palestinians depends on a just agreement regarding the Palestinian lands that Israel has occupied, illegally, according to international law, since 1967. Successive U.S. governments have generously supported Israeli military occupation of these lands, and have turned a blind eye to illegal tax exemptions for U.S. charitable organizations that support Israeli settlements.
We urge our government to exhibit equal concern for the well-being of both Palestinian and Israeli people by:
- Supporting a United Nations resolution recognizing a Palestinian state
- Withholding U.S. tax dollars that support the Israeli military
- Enforcing U.S. tax law regarding charitable organizations that support Israeli settlements
We also urge Friends worldwide to unite with Britain Yearly Meeting in its call to boycott products made in Israeli settlements, “not as punishment or revenge, but as an external pressure to achieve change.”
With Britain Yearly Meeting, Ann Arbor Friends Meeting considers that “we should now act publicly, and, well-informed, be able to explain our action to others,” in order to “give hope to Palestinians and support to those in Israel who are working for peace.” We agree with Britain Yearly Meeting that “in the face of the armed oppression of poor people and the increasing encroachment of the illegal settlements in the West Bank, we cannot do nothing.” We too are clear that it would be wrong to support the Israeli settlements by purchasing their goods.
In order to exert more than symbolic pressure on the Israeli government to negotiate a just peace at this critical time, Ann Arbor Friends Meeting joins with religious and civil society organizations throughout the world in a boycott of corporations that support the Israeli military.