A Quaker Call to Action on Israel-Palestine

Why do Quakers care about Israel-Palestine? Jewish, Palestinian, and Quaker voices come together to explore this question.

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Comment by William F Rushby on 6th mo. 9, 2015 at 7:36am
Comment by Daniel Wilcox on 6th mo. 5, 2015 at 3:49pm

What Palestine/Israel needs is a secular democratic government. But that is highly unlikely because the Muslims, Jews, Christians, (and all the hostile divisions within those major groups) choose instead to make their ultimate 'god' their own religious/political/social biases:-(  It's called selfishness--national, political, social, religious...

All sides refuse to share but instead blame all their own problems on the other sides. Some are more guilty than others.

And all turn as first step-- to lethal violence and oppressive control when confronting the 'other.' (Just like in other M.E. countries such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc.)

After watching this good lead-in, watch the documentary The Green Prince. There is enough in that powerful tragic documentary on Palestine/Israel to offend everybody.

Comment by Bill Samuel on 6th mo. 2, 2015 at 11:28am

In 7.42 minutes, you aren't going to cover all the many facets. This was not the purpose of the video. The video was to show why Quakers should be engaged, and some perspectives which could help lead to a peaceful resolution. I thought it did this well.

Comment by William F Rushby on 5th mo. 26, 2015 at 8:16pm

Hello, Olivia!  Thanks for expressing your opinion.

After I wrote my brief reaction, I thought to myself that I really haven't put it quite right.  There is not one other side or counterpart to the views expressed in the video.  In fact, there are many other sides!!  The situation is very complex, and cannot be reduced to merely two opinions!  There are the Palestinians who are convinced that Israel is an evil and oppressive "foreign" power which has usurped their lands and wants to expel the "rightful" owners.  There are the Palestinians who want to let go of the past, and forge ahead to a brighter future for both Palestinians and Israeli Jews.  There are the Christians, the Druze, the Bedouin and other minority groups who want to live peacefully, and make the best of a complicated society in which no one is likely to have it completely his own way.  We need to hear all of these voices.

There are the secular Jews, the modern Orthodox, the ultra-Orthodox, the Ashkenazi and the Sephardic Jews, the "settlers", etc.  Only an American rabbi, who may be an apologist for anti-Semites, functions as a token Jew to make the video seem less biased.

And there are the non-Israeli Jews, the expatriate Palestinians, many of whom are Christians who have fled their homeland because they feel left out of the equation.  There are the West Bankers, and the Gazans, many of whom don't dare to express publicly what they think about their plight and their aspirations for the future.

Lest you think the Palestinians all speak with one voice, there is Hamas; there is the military wing of Hamas and the pragmatic wing; there is Fatah; and there are many Palestinians who want only to be left alone, to live as ordinary law-abiding citizens.

It would be very difficult to reduce all of these voices to two opposing narratives, one just and reasonable, and one blinded by racism and selfish interests.  A three-minute sound bite will simply not do justice to the situation!!

I would hope that the AFSC would stand behind the peacemakers!  The Jews who want to share the land with Palestinians.  The Palestinians who want to forge ahead to a peaceful multi-cultural society.  The folks who believe that coexistence and prosperity, with human rights for all, could be realized!

This video does not do justice to the situation.  It expresses the views of one of many factions, without ever acknowledging that such is the case.  And I object!

Comment by Olivia on 5th mo. 26, 2015 at 7:11pm

Hi William,

I was wondering if you wanted to express what you see as the other side?   

I was of the impression that this video is showing the side that people using don't hear, and that the other side is all that stuff that is pretty much institutionalized for us, about how great Israel is and how much we love and want to support them, and what a hard time the Jews went through and without a homeland, etc. etc.  Also the institutionalized stuff about the Muslims and how violent or otherwise untrustworthy they are.    Since we have all these things deeply "messaged" throughout our culture, I thought this was one of the voices that say "look, here are some human beings on the other side of this institutionalized message."   What do you think?

Comment by William F Rushby on 5th mo. 26, 2015 at 10:52am

This video seems awfully one-sided to me.  When do we get to hear from the other side?

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