WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Three Quaker organizations that focus on international policy said today that they oppose the threatened annexation of the West Bank by Israel and called for such plans to be abandoned. Mounting reports indicate the Israeli government could annex the West Bank starting July 1.
In a statement issued today, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and the Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW) said:
“As organizations that are part of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) we are deeply concerned about the threatened Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank. Such an action would violate international law, formalize land theft, further entrench inequalities and the denial of Palestinian rights, and make realizing a just and lasting peace more difficult.
“Quakers are guided by our commitment to the principles of peace and equality. It is these shared values that lead us to speak out and to call for concrete, effective action to both oppose annexation and to counter the ongoing denial of Palestinian rights.
“Knowing the Israeli military already controls the areas that it has said it will annex, annexation will not significantly shift power dynamics on the ground, but it will have significant impacts on the rights and lives of the Palestinians who live or own land there. This breeds continued inequality, injustice, and conflict.
“Based on our shared values, we call upon Israel to abandon its plans to carry out this calamitous act, and we urge Israel’s partners and friends to take a clear and unambiguous stand against annexation. Of course, a just and lasting peace respecting the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis will not be easy, but positive change will not come through unilateral actions. Instead of reinforcing the current, unacceptable status quo, what is needed are actions that provide dignity and equality to every human being, promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, and create the basis for peace.
“To that end, we call on Quakers worldwide to make clear their opposition to annexation and other actions that violate international law and make realizing a just peace more difficult, support Palestinians and Israelis working to end Israel’s occupation and to build a future where all people in these lands live in equality, and implore their governments to take effective action to prevent annexation of West Bank territory.”
To view the Quaker statement, click here.