Quaker Service Agencies from Europe and North America have released a statement that calls for a ceasefire in the current conflict in Gaza and Israel. In particular, they call on the international community to play a constructive role both towards a ceasefire and a lasting peace. The full statement is as follows:
November 19, 2012
From the Kindertransport in Europe in the 1930’s to early childhood education and youth empowerment of Palestinians in Gaza in 2012, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has dedicated itself to peace and service on behalf of all people, irrespective of their faiths and affiliations, where lives are impacted by violence, poverty and injustice.
Quakers know from centuries of engagement against war and for peace, that violence begets violence. Quakers seek to speak truth to power, and at this time the balance of power is with Israel which controls the Gaza Strip through its illegal occupation and prolonged siege.
We call for an immediate end to the use of force by all parties.
Continued military escalation and violence will do nothing to make either Palestinian or Israeli civilians safer. We ask that International law be upheld, and that all those Israelis and Palestinians who work for peace be given the opportunity to move forward together towards a shared peaceful future.
Quakers call on the international community to use its influence and diplomatic weight to act urgently to bring about a ceasefire to end the current violence. Knowing that there is a human face to this tragedy as it continues to unfold, we pray that all the people of the region be allowed to live in peace.
Canadian Friends Service Committee, of Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Quaker Peace and Social Witness, of Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)